Tuesday, January 23, 2018

BLS: Unemployment Rates Lower in 6 states in December; California, Hawaii and Mississippi at New Series Lows

by Bill McBride on 1/23/2018 10:18:00 AM

From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary

Unemployment rates were lower in December in 6 states and the District of Columbia, higher in 1 state, and stable in 43 states, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Twenty-five states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 2 states had increases, and 23 states and the District had little or no change. The national unemployment rate was unchanged from November at 4.1 percent but was 0.6 percentage point lower than in December 2016.
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Hawaii had the lowest unemployment rate in December, 2.0 percent. The rates in California (4.3 percent), Hawaii (2.0 percent), and Mississippi (4.6 percent) set new series lows. (All state series begin in 1976.) Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 7.3 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 7.3%, 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 (7.3%) and New Mexico (6.0%).  D.C. is at 6.0%.