February 6, 2009

US Unemployment Rates - December 2008

The December US regional and state unemployment figures were released in late January. The figures, overall, continue to get worse. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Overall, the "official" national unemployment rate (U-3) increased by 0.4%, from 6.8% to 7.2%, over November's number. (November's percentage was revised upward by 0.1%.) For the past twelve months, the national rate has increased 2.3%.
  • For the most inclusive unemployment rate measured (U-6), the increase was 0.9%, from 12.6% to 13.5%. For the past twelve months, U-6 has increased by 4.8%.
  • In terms of monthly change, the states with the largest increases were Indiana and South Carolina, both with a 1.1% increase; six states had a 1.0% increase: Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Oregon.
  • On an annual basis, the state with the largest increase continues to be Rhode Island with an increase of 4.8%. North Carolina remains in second place with an increase of 4.0%, and Nevada has jumped into third with an increase of 3.9%.
  • The states with the lowest annual increases are North Dakota at 0.3%, Arkansas at 0.7%, and Iowa and Oklahoma at 0.8% each.
  • The state with the highest unemployment rate is Michigan, which increased 1.0% to 10.6%; Rhode Island remains in second place, with a rate of 10.0% (up 0.7%). South Carolina comes in third at 9.5% (up 1.1%).
  • The states with the lowest unemployment rates continue to be Wyoming (3.4%, up 0.2%), North Dakota (3.5%, up 0.2%), and South Dakota (3.9%, up 0.5%).
  • In terms of non-farm payroll employment (i.e., number of jobs), the states with the biggest decreases since November were California (-78,200), Michigan (-59,000), and New York (-54,000).
  • For annual changes in non-farm payroll employment, the states with the biggest decreases are California (-257,400), Florida (-255,200), and Michigan (-173,000). Texas continues to be the nation's bright spot, with an annual increase of 153,700, down 67,500 from November.

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


Anonymous said...

And it's going to get worse for January!
If you contrast this with the situation in Gaza, for example the unemployment rate there has never gone below 40%. Can you imagine what would happen?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JDsg said...

Anonymous: I've moved your comment to the newly created open thread.