April 19, 2009

US Unemployment Rates - March 2009

The March US regional and state unemployment figures were released on April 17th. The figures, overall, continue to worsen, although there was some slight signs of improvement in several states. One state, North Dakota, and the District of Columbia had declining unemployment rates, while three states recorded no change in the past month. On the other hand, Indiana has joined the ranks of states with double-digit unemployment rates, which now total eight. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Overall, the "official" national unemployment rate (U-3) increased by 0.4%, from 8.1% to 8.5%, over February's number. For the past twelve months, the national rate has increased by 3.4%.
  • For the most inclusive unemployment rate measured (U-6), the increase was 0.8%, from 14.8% to 15.6%. For the past twelve months, U-6 has increased by 6.5%.
  • In terms of monthly change, the state with the largest increase was Oregon, with an increase of 1.4%. Washington and West Virginia tied for the second largest increase, at 0.9%, while Wisconsin came in fourth with a 0.7% increase.
  • On an annual basis, four states have increases over 5.0%: Oregon at 6.6%, South Carolina at 5.5%, North Carolina at 5.5%, and Michigan at 5.0%.
  • The states with the lowest annual increases are North Dakota at 1.2%, Iowa at 1.3%, Nebraska at 1.5%, Louisiana and Wyoming at 1.6%, Arkansas at 1.7%, and Utah at 1.9%.
  • A total of eight states now have double-digit unemployment rates, up from seven in February. The state with the highest unemployment rate is Michigan, at 12.6%, up 0.6%. Oregon comes in second with a rate of 12.1% (up 1.4%), and South Carolina places third with a rate of 11.4% (up 0.5%). In fourth place is California with a rate of 11.2%, up 0.6%. In fifth place is North Carolina at 10.8% (up 0.1%); in sixth is Rhode Island at 10.5% (no change), and in seventh is Nevada at 10.4% (up 0.4%). The newest state in the ranks of the double-digit unemployment rates is Indiana, at 10.0%, up 0.6%.
  • The state of North Dakota and the District of Columbia both had positive (i.e., negative) changes in their unemployment rates. Both dropped down 0.1% each, from 4.3% to 4.2% for North Dakota, and from 9.9% to 9.8% for Washington D.C.
  • As mentioned above, Rhode Island (10.5%) had no change in its unemployment rate between February and March; the other two states with no change are Georgia (9.2%) and New York (7.8%).
  • The states with the lowest unemployment rates continue to be North Dakota (4.2%, down 0.1%), Wyoming (4.5%, up 0.6%), Nebraska (4.6%, up 0.3%), South Dakota (4.9%, up 0.3%) and Utah (5.2%, up 0.1%).
  • In terms of non-farm payroll employment (i.e., number of jobs), the states with the biggest decreases since February are California (-62,100), Florida (-51,900), and Texas (-47,100).
  • For annual changes in non-farm payroll employment, the states with the biggest decreases are California (-637,400), Florida (-424,300), Michigan (-270,500), and Illinois (-232,600).

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

1 comment:

Ray said...

time to hit the job boards, heres 3 chosen by about.com as the best results for job seekers -

www.linkedin.com (professional networking)
www.indeed.com (agregated listings)
www.realmatch.com (matches you to jobs)

good luck to all.