Home » Unemployment rate up in 24 states, down in 15 in August

Unemployment rate up in 24 states, down in 15 in August

 Payroll jobs up in 35 states, down in 15

WASHINGTON (Sept. 19, 2014) — Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in August. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate increases from July, 15 states had decreases, and 11 states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, three states had increases, and two states had no change. The national jobless rate was little changed from July at 6.1 percent but was 1.1 percentage points lower than in August 2013.

Help-WantedIn August 2014, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 35 states and decreased in 15 states and the District of Columbia. The largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in California (+44,200), Florida (+22,700), and Texas (+20,100). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in Michigan (-9,500), followed by Arizona (-5,400) and Massachusetts (-5,300). The largest over-the-month percentage increase in employment occurred in New Mexico (+0.6 percent), followed by Nebraska (+0.5 percent) and Alabama and Georgia (+0.4 percent each). The largest over-the-month percentage decline in employment occurred in New Hampshire (-0.7 percent), followed by the District of Columbia and Idaho (-0.6 percent each). Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 49 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in Alaska (-0.8 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in North Dakota (+4.4 percent), followed by Nevada, Texas, and Utah (+3.5 percent each).

Regional unemployment (seasonally adjusted)

In August, the West continued to have the highest regional unemployment rate, 6.6 percent, while the Midwest again had the lowest rate, 5.8 percent. The South had the only statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate increase (+0.2 percentage point), while the Midwest had the only appreciable rate decrease from July (-0.1 point). Significant over-the-year rate declines occurred in all four regions: the Midwest, Northeast, and West (-1.4 percentage points each) and South (-0.7 point).

Among the nine geographic divisions, the East South Central had the highest unemployment rate, 7.3 percent in August. The West North Central again had the lowest rate, 4.8 percent. Over the month, the South Atlantic and West South Central had the only statistically significant jobless rate changes (+0.3 percentage point and +0.1 point, respectively). 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 August, 8.1 percent. North Dakota again had the lowest jobless rate, 2.8 percent. In total, 17 states had unemployment rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 6.1 percent, 8 states and the District of Columbia had measurably higher rates, and 25 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

In August, nine states and the District of Columbia had statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate increases, the largest of which were in South Carolina (+0.6 percentage point) and Georgia and Vermont (+0.4 point each). Four states had significant jobless rate decreases from July, the largest of which were in Kentucky and Michigan (-0.3 percentage point each). The remaining 37 states had 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-seven states had statistically significant unemployment rate changes over the year, all of which were decreases. The largest of these declines occurred in Illinois (-2.5 percentage points) and Nevada (-2.2 points). The remaining 23 states and the District of Columbia had rates that were not appreciably different from those of a year earlier.

Nonfarm payroll employment (seasonally adjusted)

In August 2014, eight states had statistically significant over-the-month increases in employment and three states and the District of Columbia had significant decreases. The largest statistically significant job gains occurred in California (+44,200), Florida (+22,700), and Georgia (+15,800). The statistically significant job decreases occurred in New Hampshire (-4,800), Mississippi (-4,600), and the District of Columbia and Idaho (-4,200 each).

Over the year, 31 states had statistically significant changes in employment, all of which were positive. The largest statistically significant over-the-year job increase occurred in Texas (+395,200), followed by California (+313,900) and Florida (+211,200).

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