Friday, March 27, 2020

BLS: February Unemployment rates at New Series Lows in Six States

by Calculated Risk on 3/27/2020 10:14:00 AM

From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary

Unemployment rates were lower in February in 8 states, higher in 1 state, and stable in 41 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Eleven states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 1 state had an increase, and 38 states and the District had little or no change. The national unemployment rate, 3.5 percent, was little changed over the month but was 0.3 percentage point lower than in February 2019.
North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate in February, 2.2 percent, while Alaska had the highest rate, 5.8 percent. The rates in Alaska (5.8 percent), Idaho (2.7 percent), Illinois (3.4 percent), New York (3.7 percent), North Dakota (2.2 percent), and Washington (3.8 percent) set new series lows. (All state series begin in 1976.)
emphasis added
State UnemploymentClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the number of states (and D.C.) with unemployment rates at or above certain levels since January 1976.

At the worst of the great recession, there were 11 states with an unemployment rate at or above 11% (red).

Currently no has an unemployment rate at or above 6% (dark blue). Note that this is the first time since the series started in 1976 that Alaska has been below 6%. Three states and the D.C. have unemployment rates above 5%; Alaska, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

A total of fifteen states are at a series low: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, and Washington.