Friday, November 17, 2017

BLS: Unemployment Rates Lower in 12 states in October; Alabama, Hawaii and Texas at New Series Lows

by Bill McBride on 11/17/2017 10:29:00 AM

Note from the BLS on Puerto Rico:

The Puerto Rico household survey was conducted for the October 2017 reference period. However, the response rate was below average, in part as a result of difficulties accessing some remote areas that were significantly affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary
Unemployment rates were lower in October in 12 states, higher in 1 state, and stable in 37 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Twenty-three states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 2 states and the District had increases, and 25 states had little or no change. The national unemployment rate edged down to 4.1 percent in October and was 0.7 percentage point lower than a year earlier.
...
Hawaii had the lowest unemployment rate in October, 2.2 percent, followed by North Dakota, 2.5 percent. The rates in Alabama (3.6 percent), Hawaii (2.2 percent), and Texas (3.9 percent) set new series lows. ... 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.

Fourteen states have reached new all time lows since the end of the 2007 recession.  These fourteen states are: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, 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 (6.1%).  D.C. is at 6.6%.