November 21, 2009

US Unemployment Rates - October 2009

The October US regional and state unemployment figures were released today. The figures continue to show an overall increase in the unemployment rates. A total of 30 states had their unemployment rates increase, while the numbers for 14 states decreased; eight states had no change. The number of states with double-digit unemployment rates remains at fifteen (not including Puerto Rico). Here are some of the highlights:

  • Overall, the "official" national unemployment rate (U-3) increased by 0.4%, from 9.8% to 10.2% over September'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 0.5%, from 17.0% to 17.5%. For the past twelve months, U-6 has increased by 4.9%. The spread between U-3 and U-6 increased from 7.2% in September to 7.3%. This is the highest level the spread between U-3 and U-6 has been since the U-6 statistics were first published in January 1994.
  • In terms of a monthly change, the states with the largest increases were Alaska and Wyoming, both with an increase of 0.6%. Arkansas, Washington D.C., Illinois, and Mississippi all tied for the second largest increase, at 0.5%, while Connecticut, Delaware, Ohio, and South Carolina all had a 0.4% increase.
  • On an annual basis, three states have increases over 5.0%: Michigan at 6.0% (down 0.4%), Nevada at 5.3% (down 0.6%), and Alabama at 5.2% (down 0.1%).
  • A total of fifteen states have double-digit unemployment rates, unchanged from September (not including Puerto Rico, which has an unemployment rate of 15.6%). The state with the highest unemployment rate continues to be Michigan at 15.1%, down 0.2%. Nevada comes in second with a rate of 13.0% (down 0.3%), and Rhode Island places third with a rate of 12.9% (down 0.1%). The remaining states (in declining order) are: California (12.5%), South Carolina (12.1%), Washington D.C. (11.9%), Oregon (11.3%), Florida and Kentucky (both at 11.2%), Illinois and North Carolina (both at 11.0%), Alabama (10.9%), Ohio and Tennessee (both at 10.5%), and Georgia (10.2%).
  • The states with the lowest unemployment rates are North Dakota (4.2%, up 0.1%), Nebraska (4.9%, unchanged), and South Dakota (5.0%, up 0.2%).
  • The states with the lowest annual increases are North Dakota at 1.0%, Nebraska at 1.3%, Colorado, Montana and Vermont at 1.6%, South Dakota at 1.8%, and Louisiana at 1.9%.
  • In some good news, six states and the District of Columbia had gains in terms of non-farm payroll employment (i.e., number of jobs). Those states are Texas (41,700), Michigan (38,600), California (25,700), Oklahoma (8,800), Washington D.C. (5,400), and Montana (3,200). Only Wyoming had a statistically significant decrease in the number of jobs (-2,600).
  • For annual changes in non-farm payroll employment, the states with the biggest decreases are California (-687,700), Florida (-339,600), Texas (-307,200), Illinois (-286,300), Michigan (-262,700), Ohio (-243,200), New York (-242,500) and Georgia (-228,000). The states with the smallest decreases are South Dakota (-7,800) and Vermont (-10,700).

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

1 comment:

Zayn Gregory said...

Doom. Gloom. Glad I left the room.