Jobless Rates Down in 41 States, Up in 6 in Sept; Payroll Jobs Up in 35 States, Down in 15

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—October 19, 2012.  Regional and state unemployment rates were generally lower in September. Forty-one states and the District of Columbia recorded unemployment rate decreases, six states posted rate increases, and three states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, while six states experienced increases. The national jobless rate decreased to 7.8 percent from August and was 1.2 percentage points lower than in September 2011.

In September 2012, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 35 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in 15 states. The largest over-the-month increase in employment occurred in Texas (+21,000), followed by Pennsylvania (+17,800) and the District of Columbia (+14,200). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in Michigan (-13,000), followed by Ohio (-12,800) and Oregon (-,900). The District of Columbia experienced the largest over-the-month percentage increase in employment (+2.0 percent), followed by Maine (+0.9 percent) and South Carolina (+0.7 percent). Oregon and Wyoming experienced the largest over-the-month percentage declines in employment (-0.5 percent each), followed by West Virginia (-0.4 percent). Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 44 states and the District of Columbia, decreased in 5 states, and remained unchanged in Maine. The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in North Dakota (+5.6 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in New Mexico and West Virginia (-1.3 percent each).

Regional Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

The West continued to record the highest regional unemployment rate in September, 9.1 percent, while the Midwest again reported the lowest rate, 7.4 percent. Over the month, three regions experienced statistically significant unemployment rate changes, all of which were declines: the West (-0.3 percentage point), South (-0.2 point), and Midwest (-0.1 point). Significant over-the-year rate changes were registered in the same three regions: the West (-1.2 percentage points) and the Midwest and South (-1.0 point each). (See table 1.)

Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific continued to report the highest jobless rate, 9.7 percent in September. The West North Central again registered the lowest rate, 5.7 percent. Five divisions experienced statistically significant unemployment rate changes over the month: the Pacific and West South Central (-0.3 percentage point each), the Mountain and West North Central (-0.2 point each), and the South Atlantic (-0.1 point). Seven divisions had significant rate changes from a year earlier, all of which were decreases. The largest of these declines occurred in the Pacific (-1.2 percentage points).

State Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

Nevada continued to record the highest unemployment rate among the states, 11.8 percent in September. Rhode Island and California posted the next highest rates, 10.5 and 10.2 percent, respectively. North Dakota again registered the lowest jobless rate, 3.0 percent. In total, 21 states reported jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 7.8 percent, 14 states had measurably higher rates, and 15 states and the District of Columbia had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation. (See tables A and 3.)

Seventeen states reported statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate decreases in September. The largest of these occurred in South Carolina (-0.5 percentage point), followed by California, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Utah (-0.4 point each). The remaining 33 states and the District of Columbia recorded 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.)

Twenty states and the District of Columbia reported statistically significant unemployment rate changes from September 2011, all of which were declines. The largest of these occurred in Nevada (-1.8 percentage points). (See table C.)

Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Seasonally Adjusted)

In September 2012, eight states and the District of Columbia recorded statistically significant over-the-month increases in employment. The largest of these occurred in Pennsylvania (+17,800), the District of Columbia (+14,200), and Illinois (+13,800). Three states experienced statistically significant employment declines over the month, the largest of which was in Michigan (-13,000). (See table D.)

Over the year, 30 states experienced statistically significant changes in employment, with only West Virginia’s employment decreasing (-10,000). The largest over-the-year jobs increase occurred in Texas (+262,700), followed by California (+262,000) and New York (+125,000). (See table E.)

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

Source: bls.gov