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Economy in Brief
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U.S. Leading Economic Indicators Suggest Continued Expansion
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U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Applications Increase
Initial unemployment claims for unemployment insurance rose to 244,000 during the week ended April 15 (-5.1% y/y)...
Japan's 'Trade Trends' Stabilize on an Unstable Foundation
Japan trade trends, broadly considered, seem to be stabilizing...
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The MBA total Mortgage Applications Volume Index declined 1.8% last week (-24.9% y/y)...
by Tom Moeller May 23, 2016
The overall U.S. unemployment rate has averaged 5.0% since Q4 of last year, half its late-2009 peak. For all of 2015, the 5.3% jobless rate was down roughly two percentage points from 2014. Despite the overall decline great variation amongst individual states continued.
In the latest report for April, California's 5.3% jobless rate was less than half the 12.1% peak averaged during 2010. Unemployment in Illinois of 6.6%, though up of late, was down from the peak of 10.3% averaged both in 2009 and 2010. The jobless rate in Texas has been fairly stable since early last year near 4.5%, but remained down versus the 2008 average high of 8.4%. In Tennessee, last month's 4.3% rate compared to the 2009 average high of 10.6%. New York's unemployment rate of 4.8% compared to the 2009 peak of 8.9%.
Amongst mid-sized states, Michigan showed perhaps the greatest degree of reduced joblessness in the country. It's 4.8% rate was down from 6.4% at the end of 2014, but roughly one-third of its 13.8% peak in 2009. New Jersey's 4.7% rate of joblessness compared to 9.5% averaged in 2010, while Virginia's rate at 3.9% was below the 7.0% peak in 2010. Amongst smaller states, Vermont's decline in the unemployment rate resumed this year and fell to 3.2%, compared to a high of 7.0%. Connecticut's has backed up a bit to 5.7%, yet it's still below the 9.1% for all of 2010. South Dakota's rate fell to 2.5% from the 5.0% peak.
Increased unemployment, however, occurred in several states last month such as Ohio where its 5.2% jobless rate was up from the 4.6% low. Illinois' recent 6.6% rate was higher than 5.8% nine months ago. Pennsylvania's 5.3% jobless rate was up from 4.6% as recently as February. North Dakota's rate of 3.2% was up from the 2.7% low.
The unemployment rate figures in individual metropolitan areas continued, in most circumstances, to differ widely from the state numbers. Florida's 4.8% unemployment rate was below the 5.5% in the Miami metro area, although Miami's rate was down from 11.1% average in 2010. Michigan's 4.8% jobless rate also was under the 5.6% jobless rate around Detroit. In 2009, it averaged 15.0%. New York state's 4.9% unemployment rate was below the 5.4% rate in New York City, while California's 5.3% rate roughly equaled the 5.1% around Los Angeles. Also close to one another were Illinois' unemployment rate of 6.6% and Chicago's 6.5%, both of which have risen lately. Ohio's 5.2% rate equaled Cleveland's rate of joblessness. Working the other way were Washington state's 5.8% jobless rate which exceeded Seattle's 4.8%, which also has moved up.
State unemployment figures are available in Haver's EMPLR database.
Total U.S. Unemployment Rate
Ten States With Highest Jobless Rate
|Ten States With Lowest Jobless Rate|
|Jobless Rate In Other Selected Large States|