Friday, November 18, 2016

BLS: Unemployment Rates Lower in 7 states, Stable in 41 states in October

by Bill McBride on 11/18/2016 10:24:00 AM

From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary

Unemployment rates were significantly lower in October in 7 states, higher in 2 states, and stable in 41 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Seven states had notable jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 5 states had increases, and 38 states and the District had no significant change. The national unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in October, little changed from that of both September 2016 and October 2015.
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New Hampshire and South Dakota had the lowest unemployment rates in October, 2.8 percent each. Alaska and New Mexico had the highest jobless rates, 6.8 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively.
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 6.8%, had the highest state unemployment rate.  Note that the lowest unemployment rate in Alaska was 6.3%, so this is pretty close to the all time low.

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 four states and D.C are at or above 6% (dark blue). The states are Alaska (6.8%), New Mexico (6.7%),  Louisiana (6.3%),  D.C. (6.1%), and West Virginia (6.0%).