Friday, December 22, 2017

BLS: Unemployment Rates Lower in 8 states in November; Alabama, California, Hawaii, Mississippi and Texas at New Series Lows

by Bill McBride on 12/22/2017 04:03:00 PM

First, on migration from Puerto Rico, an except from analysis by Goldman Sachs economist Spencer Hill (this will have impacts on Puerto Rico, and on employment in the U.S. mainland):

A quarter of a million Puerto Ricans have already relocated to the continental United States in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and the ultimate scale of migration could be two or three times higher. While press coverage has appropriately focused on the continuing humanitarian crisis, the economic impact of these migration patterns is also significant.
From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary
Unemployment rates were lower in November in 8 states, higher in 2 states, and stable in 40 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 had increases, and 25 states and the District had little or no change. The national unemployment rate was unchanged from October at 4.1 percent but was 0.5 percentage point lower than in November 2016.
...
Hawaii had the lowest unemployment rate in November, 2.0 percent. The rates in Alabama (3.5 percent), California (4.6 percent), Hawaii (2.0 percent), Mississippi (4.8 percent), and Texas (3.8 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 6.4%.