Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—March 1, 2013. In 2012, annual average unemployment rates declined in 46 states and the District of Columbia, rose in 2 states, and were unchanged in 2 states, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment-population ratios increased in 26 states and the District of Columbia, decreased in 18 states, and were unchanged in 6 states. The U.S. jobless rate declined by 0.8 percentage point from the prior year to 8.1 percent, and the national employment-population ratio edged up to 58.6 percent.
Three of the 4 regions had statistically significant unemployment rate decreases from 2011. The West experienced the greatest decline (-1.2 percentage points), followed by the South (-1.1 points) and Midwest (-0.9 point). The West, at 9.2 percent, had the only jobless rate significantly higher than that of the U.S. in 2012. The Midwest and South, at 7.4 and 7.7 percent, respectively, had rates significantly below the national figure. (See table 1.)
Eight of the 9 geographic divisions had statistically significant over-the-year unemployment rate changes in 2012, all of which were decreases. The largest of these occurred in the East South Central (-1.3 percentage points) and Pacific (-1.2 points). For the fifth year in a row, the Pacific had the highest unemployment rate, 9.8 percent in 2012. The next highest rate was in the Middle Atlantic, at 8.5 percent. The rates of both of these divisions were significantly above the U.S. average. The West North Central division again had the lowest jobless rate, 5.6 percent. Two other divisions, the West South Central and New England, at 6.6 and 7.2 percent, respectively, also had rates significantly below the national figure.
In 2012, 41 states and the District of Columbia had statistically significant unemployment rate decreases, the largest of which were in Nevada (-2.1 percentage points), Florida (-1.7 points), and Missouri (-1.5 points). Twelve additional states and the District of Columbia experienced decreases greater than 1.0 percentage point. The remaining nine states had annual average unemployment rates for 2012 that were not appreciably different from those of the previous year, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes. (See table A.)
Three states had unemployment rates of 10.0 percent or more in 2012. Nevada again had the highest unemployment rate (11.1 percent), followed by California (10.5 percent) and Rhode Island (10.4 percent). North Dakota had the lowest jobless rate among states for the fourth year in a row (3.1 percent), followed by Nebraska (3.9 percent) and South Dakota (4.4 percent). Overall, 27 states had unemployment rates that were significantly lower than the U.S. rate of 8.1 percent, while 13 states and the District of Columbia had rates significantly above it. (See table B.)
Regional Employment-Population Ratios
In 2012, the South was the only region to have a statistically significant change (+0.3 percentage point) in its employment-population ratio–the proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and over with a job. The Midwest continued to have the highest ratio, 60.5 percent. The West had the lowest ratio, at 57.7 percent, followed by the South, at 57.9 percent. These three regions had employment-population ratios that were significantly different from the national figure of 58.6 percent. (See table 2.)
The South Atlantic was the only division to have a statistically significant change in its employment-population ratio in 2012 (+0.4 percentage point). The East South Central again had the lowest proportion of employed persons, 55.4 percent. The next lowest ratios were in the Pacific (57.1 percent), South Atlantic (57.7 percent), and Middle Atlantic (57.8 percent). Ratios in all four of these divisions were significantly below the national average. The division with the highest employment-population ratio was the West North Central, at 64.5 percent, followed by New England, at 61.3 percent.These two divisions, along with the West South Central, at 59.6 percent, had employment-population ratios measurably above that of the U.S.
State Employment-Population Ratios
In 2012, the largest statistically significant employment-population ratio increase among states occurred in Nebraska (+1.0 percentage point), followed by Montana (+0.9 point), Florida (+0.8 point), Kentucky and North Dakota (+0.6 point each), and California (+0.4 point). The District of Columbia also had a statistically significant increase (+2.1 percentage points). Connecticut and Iowa had the only significant employment-population ratio declines among states (-0.7 percentage point each). The remaining 42 states had proportions that were not significantly different from those of a year earlier, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes.
West Virginia again had the lowest employment-population ratio among the states, 50.2 percent in 2012. West Virginia has had the lowest employment-population ratio each year since the series began in 1976.
Four states in the West North Central division again had the highest ratios: North Dakota (69.7 percent), Nebraska (69.4 percent), South Dakota (67.3 percent), and Minnesota (66.9 percent). Overall, 23 states and the District of Columbia had employment-population ratios that were significantly above the U.S. ratio of 58.6 percent and 16 states had ratios that were appreciably below it. The remaining 11 states had ratios that were not significantly different from that of the nation. (See table C.)
To view the tables referenced above, see: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/srgune.nr0.htm