Date: December 27, 2018

The Bureau of Labour Statistics reported that, “unemployment rates were lower in November in 6 states and stable in 42 states and the District of Columbia.” Last year, there were eighteen states with jobless rate decreases and the District had little or no change. Whereas, no change was reported in the national unemployment rate from October at 3.7 percent but was 0.4 percentage point lower than in November 2017.

In addition, “Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 4 states in November 2018 and was essentially unchanged in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Over the year, 37 states added nonfarm payroll jobs and 13 states, and the District were essentially unchanged,” as stated by the BLS.

Unemployment rates

Notably, Hawaii and Iowa recorded the lowest unemployment rates in November, 2.4 percent each. On the other hand, Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 6.3 percent. In total, 13 states had unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 3.7 percent, 12 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates and 25 states had rates that were not much different from that reported for the nation.

For the period of November, there were six states that recorded unemployment rate decreases. These states were Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma, and Vermont (-0.1 percentage point each). While, two states had over-the-month rate increases, namely Colorado and Hawaii (+0.1 percentage point each). Furthermore, the remaining 42 states and the District of Columbia had jobless rates that were not notably different from those of a month earlier.

“Eighteen states had unemployment rate changes from November 2017, all of which were decreases. The largest decline occurred in New Mexico (-1.4 percentage points),” the BLS reported.

Nonfarm Payroll Employment

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in four states in November 2018. The job gains occurred in California (+30,700), Florida (+23,600), Wisconsin (+10,600), and South Dakota (+2,900). In percentage terms, the largest increase occurred in South Dakota (+0.7 percent), followed by Wisconsin (+0.4 percent), Florida (+0.3 percent), and California (+0.2 percent).

Thirty-seven states had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment in November. The largest job gains occurred in Texas (+365,400), California (+299,800), and Florida (+241,600). The largest percentage gain occurred in Nevada (+3.8 percent), followed by Arizona (+3.6 percent) and Wyoming (+3.2 percent).


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