Friday, October 20, 2017

BLS: Unemployment Rates Lower in 11 states in September; Tennessee and Idaho at New Series Lows

by Bill McBride on 10/20/2017 11:15:00 AM

Note from the BLS on Puerto Rico (due to ongoing catastrophe):

Due to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Puerto Rico was not able to conduct normal data collection for either its household or establishment surveys for September. Likewise, the U.S. Virgin Islands was not able to administer its establishment survey for September. National estimates do not include Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary
Unemployment rates were lower in September in 11 states, higher in 4 states, and stable in 35 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Twenty-two states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 1 state had an increase, and 27 states and the District had little or no change. The national unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point from August to 4.2 percent and was 0.7 point lower than in September 2016.
...
North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate in September, 2.4 percent, closely followed by Colorado and Hawaii, 2.5 percent each. The rates in Idaho (2.8 percent) and Tennessee (3.0 percent) set new series lows. (All state series begin in 1976.) Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 7.2 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.

Thirteen states have reached new all time lows since the end of the 2007 recession.  These thirteen states are: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The states are ranked by the highest current unemployment rate. Alaska, at 7.2%, 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 one state has an unemployment rate at or above 7% (light blue); Only two states and D.C. are at or above 6% (dark blue). The states are Alaska (7.2%) and New Mexico (6.2%).  D.C. is at 6.5%.