Friday, April 15, 2016

BLS: Unemployment Rate decreased in 21 States in March

by Bill McBride on 4/15/2016 11:08:00 AM

From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary

Regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in March. Twenty-one states had unemployment rate decreases from February, 15 states had increases, and 14 states and the District of Columbia had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
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South Dakota and New Hampshire had the lowest jobless rates in March, 2.5 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, followed by Colorado, 2.9 percent. The rates in both Arkansas (4.0 percent) and Oregon (4.5 percent) set new series lows. (All region, division, and state series begin in 1976.) Alaska had the highest rate, 6.6 percent.
emphasis added
State Unemployment Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the current unemployment rate for each state (red), and the max during the recession (blue). All states are well below the maximum unemployment rate for the recession.

The size of the blue bar indicates the amount of improvement.   The yellow squares are the lowest unemployment rate per state since 1976.

The states are ranked by the highest current unemployment rate. Alaska, at 6.6%, had the highest state unemployment rate.

State UnemploymentThe second graph shows the number of states (and D.C.) with unemployment rates at or above certain levels since January 2006. At the worst of the employment recession, there were 11 states with an unemployment rate at or above 11% (red).

Currently no state has an unemployment rate at or above 7% (light blue); Only seven states and D.C are at or above 6% (dark blue).