Monday, March 16, 2020

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

by Calculated Risk on 3/16/2020 10:26:00 AM

From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary

Unemployment rates were lower in January in 5 states and stable in 45 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, 3.6 percent, was little changed over the month but was 0.4 percentage point lower than in January 2019.
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North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate in January, 2.3 percent, while Alaska had the highest rate, 6.0 percent. The rates in Alaska (6.0 percent), Illinois (3.5 percent), Nevada (3.6 percent), New York (3.8 percent), Oregon (3.3 percent), and Washington (3.9 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 only one state, Alaska, has an unemployment rate at or above 6% (dark blue). Note that Alaska is at a series low (since 1976).  Four states and the D.C. have unemployment rates above 5%; Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia.

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