May 2014 Jobless Rates Down in 20 States, Up in 16; Payroll Jobs Up in 36 States, Down in 14

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—June 20, 2014. Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in May. Twenty states had unemployment rate decreases from April, 16 states had increases, and 14 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 an increase. The national jobless rate held at 6.3 percent in May but was 1.2 percentage points lower than in May 2013.

In May 2014, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 36 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in 14 states. The largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in Texas (+56,400), Pennsylvania (+24,700), and New York (+23,400). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in Florida (-17,900), followed by Arizona (-8,400) and Illinois (-2,600). The largest over-the-month percentage increases in employment occurred in West Virginia (+1.5 percent), Maine (+0.8 percent), and Delaware (+0.7 percent). The largest over-the-month percentage decline in employment occurred in South Dakota (-0.5 percent), followed by Arizona, New Hampshire, and Wyoming (-0.3 percent each). Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 48 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in 2 states. The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in North Dakota (+4.6 percent), followed by Nevada (+3.9 percent) and Texas (+3.4 percent). The only over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in New Mexico (-0.1 percent) and New Jersey (which declined by less than 0.05 percent).

Regional Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

In May, the West continued to have the highest regional unemployment rate, 6.9 percent, while the Midwest and South had the lowest rates, 6.0 percent each. The West had the only statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate change (-0.1 percentage point). Significant over-the-year rate decreases occurred in all four regions: the Northeast (-1.4 percentage points) and Midwest, South, and West (-1.2 points each). (See table 1.)

Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific continued to have the highest jobless rate, 7.3 percent in May. The West North Central again had the lowest rate, 5.0 percent. Over the month, the South Atlantic had the only statistically significant unemployment rate change (+0.2 percentage point). Eight divisions had significant rate changes from a year earlier, all of which were declines. The largest of these decreases occurred in the East North Central (-1.7 percentage points) and Middle Atlantic (-1.4 points).

State Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

Rhode Island again had the highest unemployment rate among the states in May, 8.2 percent. North Dakota again had the lowest jobless rate, 2.6 percent. In total, 21 states had unemployment rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 6.3 percent, 8 states and the District of Columbia had measurably higher rates, and 21 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation. (See tables A and 3.)

In May, five states had statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate declines: Illinois and Massachusetts (-0.4 percentage point each) and California, Montana, and Utah (-0.2 point each). Georgia and Virginia had the only significant over-the-month rate increases (+0.3 and +0.2 percentage point, respectively). The remaining 43 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.

Thirty-two states had statistically significant jobless rate changes over the year, all of which were decreases. The largest of these occurred in South Carolina (-2.6 percentage points) and Nevada (-2.2 points). The remaining 18 states and the District of Columbia had rates that were not appreciably different from those of a year earlier. (See table B.)

Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Seasonally Adjusted)

In May 2014, 20 states had statistically significant over-the-month changes in employment, 17 of which were increases. The largest statistically significant job gains occurred in Texas (+56,400), Pennsylvania (+24,700), and New York (+23,400). The three statistically significant job decreases occurred in Florida (-17,900), Arizona (-8,400), and South Dakota (-2,300). (See tables C and 5.)

Over the year, 31 states had statistically significant changes in employment, all of which were positive. The largest over-the-year job increase occurred in Texas (+383,100), followed by California (+340,200) and Florida (+218,800). (See table D.)

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The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for May is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, July 1, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news release for June is scheduled to be released on Friday, July 18, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

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

Source: bls.gov