March 28, 2009

US Unemployment Rates - February 2009

The February US regional and state unemployment figures were released on March 27th. The figures, overall, continue to be bad, although some of the over-the-month rate changes between January and February were not as severe as they were the month before. One state, Nebraska, also had a declining unemployment rate. On the other hand, the number of states with double-digit unemployment rates has increased to seven. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Overall, the "official" national unemployment rate (U-3) increased by 0.5%, from 7.6% to 8.1%, over January's number. For the past twelve months, the national rate has increased 3.3%.
  • For the most inclusive unemployment rate measured (U-6), the increase was 0.9%, from 13.9% to 14.8%. For the past twelve months, U-6 has increased by 5.8%.
  • In terms of monthly change, the states with the largest increases were North Carolina and Oregon, with changes of 1.0% each. One state, New Jersey, had a 0.9% increase, while four states had 0.8% increases. Those states are Georgia, Hawaii, New York and West Virginia.
  • On an annual basis, three states have increases over 5.0%: North Carolina at 5.5%, Oregon at 5.4%, and South Carolina at 5.3%. Michigan and Nevada are tied for fourth at 4.6%.
  • The states with the lowest annual increases are Iowa at 1.0%, Wyoming at 1.1%, Nebraska at 1.2%, and North Dakota at 1.3%.
  • A total of seven states now have double-digit unemployment rates, up from four in January. The state with the highest unemployment rate is Michigan, at 12.0%, up 0.4%. South Carolina comes in second with a rate of 11.0% (up 0.6%), and Oregon places third with a rate of 10.8% (up 1.0%). In fourth place is North Carolina with a rate of 10.7%, also up 1.0%. Tied for fifth place is California and Rhode Island, both with a rate of 10.5%, up 0.4% for California and 0.2% for Rhode Island. The seventh place state, Nevada, also has double-digit unemployment with a rate of 10.1%, up 0.7%.
  • The states with the lowest unemployment rates continue to be Wyoming (3.9%, up 0.2%), Nebraska (4.2%, down 0.1%), North Dakota (4.3%, up 0.1%), South Dakota (4.6%, up 0.2%) and Iowa (4.9%, up 0.1%).
  • In terms of non-farm payroll employment (i.e., number of jobs), the states with the biggest decreases since January were California (-116,000), Florida (-49,500), and Texas (-46,100).
  • For annual changes in non-farm payroll employment, the states with the biggest decreases are California (-605,900), Florida (-399,400), Michigan (-277,000), and Ohio (-222,100).

The PDF version of the Bureau of Labor Statistics press release can be found here.

2 comments:

Qwaider قويدر said...

tought times! But it does appear to be slowing down. Hopefully start reversing in the nex 6 to 9 months

JDsg said...

Yes, insha'allah.