January 8, 2010

US Unemployment Rates - November 2009

The November US regional and state unemployment figures was recently released. The figures show an overall decrease in the unemployment rates. A total of 37 states had their unemployment rates decrease, while the numbers for 8 states increased; six 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) decreased by 0.2%, from 10.2% to 10.0% over October's number. For the past twelve months, the national rate has increased by 2.8% (down 0.4% from last month).
  • For the most inclusive unemployment rate measured (U-6), the decrease was 0.3%, from 17.5% to 17.2%. For the past twelve months, U-6 has increased by 3.7% (down 1.2% from last month). The spread between U-3 and U-6 decreased from its historic peak of 7.3% in September to 7.2%.
  • In terms of a monthly change, the states with the largest decreases were Kentucky and Louisiana, both with a decrease of 0.7%. Connecticut and Nevada followed with decreases of 0.6% each. The state with the largest increase was South Carolina, whose unemployment rate rose 0.3% (as did Puerto Rico's).
  • On an annual basis, the only state remaining with an increase over 5.0% is Michigan, at 5.1%. Three states are tied for second at 4.3% (Alabama, Florida and Nevada).
  • A total of fifteen states have double-digit unemployment rates, unchanged from October (not including Puerto Rico, which has an unemployment rate of 15.9%). The state with the highest unemployment rate continues to be Michigan at 14.7%, down 0.4%. Rhode Island comes in second with a rate of 12.7% (down 0.2%), while three states tied for third with a rate of 12.3%: California (down 0.2%), Nevada (down 0.6%), and South Carolina (up 0.3%). The remaining states (in declining order) are: Washington D.C. (11.8%), Florida (11.5%), Oregon (11.1%), Illinois (10.9%), 9%), Oregon (11.3%), North Carolina (10.8%), Kentucky and Ohio (both at 10.6%), Alabama (10.5%), Tennessee (10.3%), and Georgia (10.2%).
  • The states with the lowest unemployment rates are North Dakota (4.1%, down 0.1%), Nebraska (4.5%, down 0.4%), and South Dakota (5.0%, unchanged).
  • The states with the lowest annual increases are North Dakota and Nebraska at 0.9%, Vermont at 1.1%, Minnesota at 1.3%, Louisiana at 1.4%, and Colorado, Kansas and Montana at 1.5%.
  • In terms of non-farm payroll employment, four states had significant decreases in the number of jobs. Those states are Hawaii (-6,000), Michigan (-14,000), Mississippi (-6,100) and Nevada (-8,800).
  • For annual changes in non-farm payroll employment, the states with the biggest decreases are California (-617,600), Florida (-284,800), Texas (-271,700), Illinois (-250,400), Michigan (-240,200), and New York (-210,500). The states with the smallest decreases are South Dakota (-6,800) and Vermont (-7,800).

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

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