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.


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.