Recent Updates

  • Japan: CPI (Apr)
  • Korea: Inflation Expectations, Consumer Survey Index (May)
  • US: Advance Trade & Inventories (Apr)
  • Brazil: Construction Index (Mar)
  • UK: GDP Second Release (Q1), Index of Services (Mar), BBA Mortgage & Consumer Lending, Average Precipitation (Apr)
  • *Singapore GDP detail delayed due to technical difficulties from the source*
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. State Unemployment Rates Vary Widely
by Tom Moeller  December 19, 2016

The decline in the overall unemployment rate to 4.5% during November reflects a range of state unemployment rates from a high of 6.8% in Alaska to a 2.7% low in South Dakota.  

The unemployment rate in Alaska continued to top the chart at 6.8% versus 6.5% during all of last year. The level of unemployment has risen 1.8% during the last twelve months versus a 6.6% decline in the country overall. Louisiana also registered a high unemployment rate at 6.2%, about where it's been for three years. Unemployment has risen 4.5% y/y. Two other states at the high end of the scale were West Virginia at 6.0% and Pennsylvania at 5.7%. Employment in the Keystone state rose just 0.4% y/y.

At the bottom of the state unemployment tally were small states including South Dakota at 2.7%, even though it had just 0.9% y/y employment growth. Hawaii similarly had a low jobless rate at 3.0%, reflecting 2.8% growth in employment. Colorado's low 3.2% unemployment rate brought with it 3.6% jobs growth. Another large state with low unemployment was Minnesota at 3.8%, but employment declined 1.4% y/y. The labor force similarly fell 1.3% y/y. Finally, Virginia's low 4.2% jobless rate brought with it just a 0.5% y/y rise in the number of jobs.

Unemployment amongst other states similarly varied greatly. Unemployment in New Jersey at 5.0% remained up from its low of 4.3% in February, as employment dipped 0.2% y/y. New York's unemployment rate of 5.1% was up from a 4.7% low, and employment has declined 1.0% y/y. In New York City, the jobless rate stood at 5.7%, reflecting a 1.9% y/y decline in employment. On the bright side of the unemployment spectrum was Massachusetts where its jobless rate of 2.9% was down from 8.8% in January 2010. Employment has risen 3.3% y/y.

Within large cities, unemployment in and around Los Angeles of 5.1% was below the state's average of 5.3% due to 4.3% growth in employment. Around Chicago, the jobless rate of 5.8% compared to Illinois' average of 5.6%, but employment grew just 0.8% y/y. In Washington, unemployment stood at 5.3%. Around Seattle, the low 3.7% unemployment rate was down from 9.4% during all of 2010, as employment grew 3.9% y/y. Michigan experienced 4.9% unemployment, but it was 5.6% around Detroit where employment declined 2.8% y/y.

State unemployment figures are available in Haver's EMPLR database.

A Healthy Labor Market Still Includes Many Puzzles from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is available here.

Nov Oct 2015 2014 2013 Labor Force

Total U.S. Unemployment Rate (%)

4.6% 4.9% 5.3 6.2 7.4% 159.5 million

Ten States With Highest Jobless Rate

  Alaska 6.8 6.9 6.5 6.9 5.9 0.4
  Louisiana  6.2 6.3 6.2 6.3 6.5 2.1
  West Virginia 6.0 6.0 6.7 6.6 6.7 0.8
  Pennsylvania 5.7 5.8 5.0 5.8 7.1 6.5
  Illinois 5.6 5.6 5.9 7.0 8.9 6.6
  Washington 5.3 5.4 5.7 6.1 6.9 3.7
  California 5.3 5.5 6.3 7.5 8.8 19.5
  Arizona  5.0 5.2 6.1 6.7 7.5 3.3
  South Carolina 4.4 4.7 5.9 6.4 7.5 2.3
  Connecticut 4.7 5.1 5.6 6.6 7.7 1.9
Ten States With Lowest Jobless Rate      
  Virginia 4.2 4.1 4.4 5.1 5.6 4.3
  Arkansas 4.0 4.0 5.2 6.0 7.2 1.3
  Maine 4.0 4.0 4.4 5.6 6.6 0.7
  Iowa 3.8 4.1 3.6 4.1 4.7 1.7
  Minnesota 3.8 4.0 3.6 4.1 4.8 3.0
  Nebraska 3.4 3.3 2.9 3.2 3.7 1.0
  Colorado 3.2 3.5 3.8 4.9 6.7 2.9
  Hawaii 3.0 3.2 3.6 4.4 4.9 0.7
  Massachusetts 2.9 3.3 4.9 5.7 6.6 3.6
  South Dakota 2.7 2.8 3.1 3.4 3.8 0.5
Jobless Rate In Other Selected Large States      
  Georgia 5.3 5.2 5.8 7.0 8.0 4.9
  New York 5.1 5.2 5.3 6.3 7.5 9.6
  New Jersey 5.0 5.3 5.6 6.7 8.1 4.6
  North Carolina 5.0 4.9 5.7 6.2 7.8 4.8
  Ohio 4.9 4.9 4.8 5.7 7.3 5.7
  Michigan 4.9 4.7 5.4 7.1 8.5 4.7
  Florida 4.9 4.8 5.3 6.1 7.0 9.8
  Texas 4.6 4.7 4.5 5.0 6.1 13.0
  Wisconsin 4.1 4.1 4.6 5.4 6.6 3.1
close
large image