September 2014 Jobless Rates Down in 31 States, Up in 8; Payroll Jobs Up in 39 States, Down in 10

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—October 21, 2014. Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in September. Thirty-one states had unemployment rate decreases from August, 8 states had increases, and 11 states and the District of Columbia had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, five states had increases, and three states had no change. The national jobless rate declined to 5.9 percent from August and was 1.3 percentage points lower than in September 2013.

In September 2014, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 39 states and the District of Columbia, decreased in 10 states, and was unchanged in South Dakota. The largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in Texas (+36,400), Illinois (+19,300), and Colorado (+14,600). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in California (-9,800), followed by Pennsylvania (-9,600) and Virginia (-7,400). The largest over-the-month percentage increase in employment occurred in the District of Columbia (+1.1 percent), followed by Alaska (+0.9 percent) and West Virginia (+0.8 percent). The largest over-the-month percentage declines in employment occurred in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia (-0.2 percent each). Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 49 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in Alaska (-0.2 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in North Dakota (+5.1 percent), followed by Texas (+3.7 percent) and Utah (+3.6 percent).

Regional Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

In September, the West continued to have the highest regional unemployment rate, 6.5 percent, while the Midwest had the lowest rate, 5.7 percent. The Northeast 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 Midwest and West (-1.4 percentage points each), Northeast (-1.3 points), and South (-0.7 point). (See table 1.)

Among the nine geographic divisions, the East South Central had the highest jobless rate, 7.0 percent in September. The West North Central again had the lowest rate, 4.7 percent. Over the month, the Middle Atlantic and Mountain had the only statistically significant jobless rate changes (-0.2 percentage point each). 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 (-1.9 percentage points) and Middle Atlantic and Pacific (-1.4 points each).

State Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

Georgia had the highest unemployment rate among the states in September, 7.9 percent. North Dakota again had the lowest jobless rate, 2.8 percent. In total, 16 states had unemployment rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 5.9 percent, 10 states and the District of Columbia had measurably higher rates, and 24 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 over-the-month unemployment rate declines: Colorado and Kentucky (-0.4 percentage point each); Nevada (-0.3 point); and Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, and New York (-0.2 point each). Vermont and Massachusetts had the only significant over-the-month rate increases (+0.3 percentage point and +0.2 point, respectively). The remaining 41 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.

Twenty-six states had statistically significant unemployment rate changes over the year, all of which were decreases. The largest of these occurred in Illinois (-2.5 percentage points) and Nevada (-2.3 points). The remaining 24 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 September 2014, 16 states and the District of Columbia had statistically significant over-the-month changes in employment, all of which were increases. The largest significant job gains occurred in Texas (+36,400), Illinois (+19,300), and Colorado (+14,600). (See tables C and 5.)

Over the year, 37 states had statistically significant changes in employment, all of which were positive. The largest significant over-the-year job increase occurred in Texas (+413,700), followed by California (+297,000) and Florida (+205,600). (See table D.)

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The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for September is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 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 21, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. (EST).

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

Source: bls.gov