Jobless Rate Down in 29 States, Up in 10 in Feb 2014.; Payroll Jobs Up in 33 States, Down in 17

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—March 28, 2014. Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in February. Twenty-nine states had unemployment rate decreases from January, 10 states had increases, and 11 states and the District of Columbia had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier and one state had no change. The national jobless rate, 6.7 percent, was little changed from January, but was 1.0 percentage point lower than in February 2013.

In February 2014, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 33 states and decreased in 17 states and the District of Columbia. The largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in California (+58,800), Texas (+37,600), and Florida (+33,400). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in North Carolina (-11,300), followed by Wisconsin (-9,500) and Georgia (-5,800). The largest over-the-month percentage increase in employment occurred in North Dakota (+1.3 percent), followed by West Virginia (+0.6 percent) and Delaware, Idaho, and New Hampshire (+0.5 percent each). The largest over-the-month percentage decline in employment occurred in Alaska (-0.7 percent), followed by Vermont (-0.5 percent) and Hawaii (-0.4 percent). Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 46 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in 4 states. The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in North Dakota (+4.1 percent), followed by Nevada (+3.6 percent) and Colorado, Florida, and Texas (+2.8 percent each). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Kentucky (-0.3 percent), New Mexico (-0.2 percent), and Alaska (-0.1 percent).

Regional Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

The West continued to have the highest regional unemployment rate in February, 7.2 percent, while the South had the lowest rate, 6.1 percent. The South had the only statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate change (-0.1 percentage point). Over the year, all four regions had statistically significant rate declines: the Northeast and South (-1.2 percentage points each), West (-1.1 points), and Midwest (-0.8 point). (See table 1.)

Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific continued to have the highest jobless rate, 7.6 percent in February, while the West North Central again had the lowest rate, 5.0 percent. New England and the South Atlantic had statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate declines (-0.3 and -0.1 percentage point, respectively), while the West North Central had a statistically significant rate increase (+0.2 point). Eight divisions had significant unemployment rate changes from a year earlier, all of which were declines. The largest of these declines were in the South Atlantic (-1.5 percentage points) and Middle Atlantic (-1.4 points).

State Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

Rhode Island continued to have the highest unemployment rate among the states in February, 9.0 percent. North Dakota again had the lowest jobless rate, 2.6 percent. In total, 22 states had jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 6.7 percent, 6 states had measurably higher rates, and 22 states and the District of Columbia had rates that were not substantially different from that of the nation. (See tables A and 3.)

Ten states had statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate declines in February. The largest of these occurred in South Carolina (-0.7 percentage point) and Ohio (-0.4 point). Missouri and Iowa were the only states with significant over-the-month rate increases (+0.4 and +0.1 percentage point, respectively). The remaining 38 states and the District of Columbia had jobless rates that were not measurably 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.)

South Carolina had the largest jobless rate decline from February 2013 (-2.4 percentage points), closely followed by North Carolina (-2.2 points). Twenty-two additional states and the District of Columbia had smaller but also statistically significant rate decreases over the year. The remaining 26 states had unemployment rates that were not appreciably different from those of a year earlier. (See table C.)

Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Seasonally Adjusted)

In February 2014, 11 states had statistically significant over-the-month changes in employment, 8 of which were increases. The largest statistically significant job gains occurred in California (+58,800), Texas (+37,600), and Florida (+33,400). The only statistically significant job decreases occurred in North Carolina (-11,300), Wisconsin (-9,500), and Alaska (-2,300). (See tables D and 5.)

Over the year, 26 states had statistically significant changes in employment, all of which were positive. The largest over-the-year job increase occurred in California (+336,600), followed by Texas (+314,200) and Florida (+211,500). (See table E.)

To view the tables referenced above, see: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.nr0.htm

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The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for February 2014 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news release for March 2014 is scheduled to be released on Friday, April 18, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

Source: bls.gov