Friday, May 19, 2017

BLS: Unemployment Rates Lower in 10 states in April, Three States at New Series Lows

by Bill McBride on 5/19/2017 10:21:00 AM

From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary

Unemployment rates were lower in April 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. Nineteen states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, and 31 states and the District had little or no change
...
Colorado had the lowest unemployment rate in April, 2.3 percent, followed by Hawaii and North Dakota, 2.7 percent each. The rates in Arkansas (3.5 percent), Colorado (2.3 percent), and Oregon (3.7 percent) set new series lows. (All state series begin in 1976.) New Mexico and Alaska 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. New Mexico, at 6.7%, 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 two states are at or above 6% (dark blue). The states are New Mexico (6.7%), and Alaska (6.6%).