Bureau of Labor Statistics: Sept. 2016 Jobless Rates Down in 7 States, Up in 1; Payroll Jobs Up in 14 States, Down in 3

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Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—October 21, 2016. Unemployment rates were significantly lower in September in 7 states, higher in 1 state, and stable in 42 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Six states had notable jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 4 states had increases, and 40 states and the District had no significant change. The national unemployment rate was 5.0 percent in September, little changed from that of both August 2016 and September 2015.

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 14 states in September 2016, decreased in 3 states, and was essentially unchanged in 33 states and the District of Columbia. Over the year, 35 states and the District added nonfarm payroll jobs, Wyoming lost jobs, and 14 states were essentially unchanged.

Regional Unemployment

In September, the only region with an unemployment rate significantly different from the U.S. rate of 5.0 percent was the Midwest, at 4.6 percent. Over the month, the only statistically significant unemployment rate change was in the South (+0.1 percentage point). Significant over-the-year rate changes occurred in two regions: the West (-0.4 percentage point) and South (-0.3 point). (See table 1.)

Among the nine geographic divisions, New England had the lowest unemployment rate, 4.1 percent in September, followed by the West North Central, 4.2 percent. The Pacific had the highest rate, 5.5 percent. Over the month, no division had a statistically significant jobless rate change. Three divisions had significant unemployment rate declines from a year earlier: the East South Central and New England (-0.7 percentage point each) and South Atlantic (-0.6 point). Significant over-the-year rate increases occurred in the West North Central and West South Central (+0.3 percentage point each).

State Unemployment

New Hampshire and South Dakota had the lowest jobless rates in September, 2.9 percent each. Alaska had the highest unemployment rate, 6.9 percent. In total, 20 states had unemployment rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 5.0 percent, 9 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 21 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation. (See tables A and 3.)

In September, seven states had statistically significant unemployment rate decreases, the largest of which occurred in Nevada (-0.5 percentage point). The only notable rate increase occurred in New York (+0.2 percentage point). The remaining 42 states and the District of Columbia had jobless rates that were not significantly different from those of a month earlier, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes. (See table B.)

Six states had statistically significant unemployment rate decreases from September 2015. The largest decline was in Massachusetts (-1.2 percentage points). Four states had significant unemployment rate increases over the year, the largest of which were in Oklahoma and Wyoming (+1.0 percentage point each). (See table C.)

Nonfarm Payroll Employment

Fourteen states had statistically significant over-the-month increases in nonfarm payroll employment and three states had significant decreases in September 2016. The largest job gains occurred in Texas (+38,300), California (+30,000), and Florida (+23,000). In percentage terms, the largest increases occurred in Kentucky and Washington (+0.6 percent each), followed by Delaware, Indiana, Montana, and Tennessee (+0.5 percent each). The three significant decreases in employment over the month occurred in Wisconsin (-10,500), Alabama (-6,600), and New Mexico (-4,200). In percentage terms, the largest decreases occurred in New Mexico (-0.5 percent), Wisconsin (-0.4 percent), and Alabama (-0.3 percent). (See tables D and 5.)

Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia had statistically significant over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment in September. The largest job gains occurred in California (+379,700), Florida (+276,300), and Texas (+206,800). The largest percentage gain occurred in Oregon (+3.5 percent), followed by Florida (+3.4 percent), and Idaho and Washington (+3.2 percent each). Only one state had a significant over-the-year decline in employment: Wyoming (-9,200, or -3.2 percent). (See table E.)

The charts/tables referenced above can be viewed here.


The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for September is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, November 2, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news release for October is scheduled to be released on Friday, November 18, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (EST).

Source: www.bls.gov