Tuesday, January 24, 2017

BLS: Unemployment Rates Lower in 10 states, Stable in 39 states in December

by Bill McBride on 1/24/2017 01:15:00 PM

From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary

Unemployment rates were significantly lower in December in 10 states, higher in 1 state, and stable in 39 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Eleven states had notable jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 2 states had increases, and 37 states and the District had no significant change. The national unemployment rate, 4.7 percent, was little changed from November but 0.3 percentage point lower than in December 2015.
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New Hampshire had the lowest unemployment rate in December, 2.6 percent, followed by Massachusetts and South Dakota, 2.8 percent each. Alaska and New Mexico had the highest jobless rates, 6.7 percent and 6.6 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 6.7%, had the highest state unemployment rate.  Note that the lowest recorded 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 are at or above 6% (dark blue). The states are Alaska (6.7%), New Mexico (6.6%),  Alabama (6.2%), and Louisiana (6.1%).