Recent Updates

  • Japan: Population Estimates (Nov), International Trade, Government Bond Trading Volume by Category of Investors, Real Trade Index, Fiscal Loan Fund Balance Sheet (Oct)
  • China: Gross Regional Product (Q3), Output of Energy Products by Region (Oct)
  • Thailand: GDP, Nonperforming Loans (Q3), Reserve Money (Oct); Korea: PPI (Oct); Philippines: Retail Price Index (Oct); Hong Kong: Personal Bankruptcy Petitions (Oct); China: Real Estate Investment, Investment in Fixed Assets by Status of
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Unemployment Varies Greatly Around the Country
by Tom Moeller  May 19, 2017

As the U.S. unemployment rate declined last month to 4.4%, the lowest level since May 2007, it continued to reflect a wide range of rates amongst states. At the high end were two states which realized unemployment above 6.0%. Several states, however, continued to experience an unemployment rate below 3.0%.

New Mexico's jobless rate continued to top the charts at 6.7%. It has risen from 6.4% in early-2015. Employment and labor force growth have been subdued near 1.0%. Alaska's unemployment rate moved up slightly last month to 6.6%, but it recently trended lower as employment growth picked up to 1.6% y/y after a 0.8% decline last year. Louisiana registered a high unemployment rate of 5.8%. That was down from 6.2% a year ago, but employment and the size of the labor force both eased y/y. In Georgia, the jobless rate eased to a still-high 5.0%. Its decline has been accompanied by 3.0% growth in the labor force set against 0.8% in the country overall. In Pennsylvania, unemployment of 4.9% was down from 5.5% during the last twelve months and stood at its ten-year low. Employment grew 1.0% y/y versus 0.4% growth in the labor force.

Colorado's 2.3% unemployment remained at the low end of the range. It reflected 3.4% y/y employment growth while the labor force grew 2.4% y/y. New England continued to experience low unemployment. New Hampshire's unemployment rate of 2.8% reflected 0.8% y/y growth in both employment and the labor force. In Maine, the labor market was more dynamic. A record-low jobless rate of 3.0% reflected 3.1% y/y growth in jobs and 2.2% y/y growth in the labor force. A higher 3.9% rate of unemployment in Massachusetts reflected 3.1% y/y growth in employment and 3.0% growth in the labor pool. Further to the west, Minnesota's 3.8% unemployment rate was low as employment grew 1.2% y/y, and the labor force grew 1.1% y/y.

Amongst other large states, Ohio's 5.0% rate of unemployment reflected 1.3% y/y growth in both jobs & the size of the labor pool. Texas unemployment at 5.0% occurred as employment grew 2.1% y/y and the labor force expanded 2.5% y/y. Similarly, North Carolina's 4.7% unemployment reflected 2.4% y/y growth in employment and a 2.1% rise in the labor force. At the low end of the range amongst large states was Wisconsin which experienced 3.2% unemployment as employment rose 2.0% y/y, twice the growth in the labor force.

Within large cities, New York City's jobless rate plummeted to 4.1% from 5.2% last April, as employment grew 3.7% y/y and the labor force expanded 2.5% y/y. Unemployment in New York state was a slightly higher 4.3%, still down from a 2009 high of 8.9%. Unemployment around Chicago fell sharply to 4.3% from 6.0% last April, compared to 4.7% in all of Illinois. The city's low jobless rate reflected, however, a 0.2% y/y slip in employment set against a 1.9% y/y decline in the labor force. California's 4.8% unemployment rate exceeded the 4.5% rate around Los Angeles where employment grew 2.3% y/y and the labor force expanded 1.5%. In Washington state, 4.6% unemployment compared to 3.3% around Seattle where a 3.3% y/y gain in employment was accompanied by a 2.3% rise in the labor force.

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

Hey, Economist! Is Now a Good Time to Be Graduating from College? from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York can be found here.

Apr Mar 2016 2015 2014 Labor Force

Total U.S. Unemployment Rate (%)

4.4% 4.5% 4.8 5.3 6.2 159.5 million

Ten States With Highest Jobless Rate

  New Mexico 6.7 6.7 6.7 6.5 6.7 0.9
  Alaska 6.6 6.4 6.6 6.4 6.9 0.4
  Louisiana  5.8 5.7 6.1 6.3 6.3 2.1
  Alabama 5.4 5.8 6.0 6.1 6.7 2.2
  Georgia 5.0 5.1 5.4 5.9 7.0 4.9
  Pennsylvania 4.9 4.8 5.5 5.3 5.8 6.4
  West Virginia 4.8 4.9 6.0 6.7 6.6 0.8
  California 4.8 4.9 5.4 6.2 7.5 19.1
  Illinois 4.7 4.9 5.9 5.9 7.0 6.5
  Washington 4.6 4.7 5.4 5.6 6.1 3.6
Ten States With Lowest Jobless Rate  
  Massachusetts 3.9 3.6 3.7 4.8 5.7 3.6
  Minnesota 3.8 3.8 3.9 3.8 4.1 3.0
  Indiana 3.6 3.9 4.5 4.8 5.9 3.3
  Arkansas 3.5 3.6 4.0 5.0 6.0 1.3
  Iowa 3.1 3.1 3.7 3.8 4.2 1.7
  Maine 3.0 3.0 3.9 4.3 5.6 0.7
  New Hampshire 2.8 2.8 2.8 3.4 4.3 0.7
  South Dakota 2.8 2.8 2.8 3.1 3.4 0.5
  Hawaii 2.7 2.7 3.0 3.6 4.4 0.7
  Colorado 2.3 2.6 3.3 3.8 4.9 2.9
Jobless Rate In Other Selected Large States  
  Ohio 5.0 5.1 5.0 4.9 5.7 5.7
  Michigan 4.7 5.0 5.0 5.4 7.1 4.8
  Texas 5.0 5.0 4.7 4.4 5.0 13.3
  North Carolina 4.7 4.9 5.1 5.7 6.2 4.9
  Florida 4.5 4.8 4.9 5.3 6.2 9.8
  New York 4.3 4.3 4.9 5.3 6.3 9.6
  Maryland 4.3 4.3 4.3 5.0 5.8 3.2
  New Jersey 4.1 4.2 5.0 5.8 6.7 4.5
  Virginia 3.8 3.8 4.1 4.4 5.2 4.2
  Wisconsin 3.2 3.4 4.2 4.5 5.4 3.1
close
large image