U.S. Unemployment Rates down in 30 states in July

August 24, 2020

For the month of July, jobless rates were lower in 30 states, higher in 9 states, and unchanged in 11 states and the District of Columbia based on a report by the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS). All fifty states and the District had jobless rate increases from last year. There was a 0.9 percentage point decrease in the national unemployment rate to 10.2% over the month but was 6.5 percentage points higher than in July 2019.

In addition, “nonfarm payroll employment increased in 40 states and the District of Columbia, decreased in 1 state, and was essentially unchanged in 9 states in July 2020. Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in 49 states and the District and was essentially unchanged in 1 state,” as stated by the BLS.

Unemployment rates

Notably, Massachusetts exhibited the highest jobless rate in July, 16.1%, followed by New York, 15.9%. The rates in Connecticut (10.2%), New Mexico (12.7%), and New York (15.9%) set new series highs. Utah recorded the lowest unemployment rate of 4.5% in July, followed by Nebraska, 4.8%, and Idaho, 5.0%. In total, 28 states and the District of Columbia experienced unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 10.2%, whereas 11 states had higher rates. Approximately 11 states had rates that were not noticeably different from that of the nation.

For July, Michigan had the largest over-the-month unemployment rate decrease by 6.2 percentage points. Rates decreased over the month by at least 2.0 percentage points in an additional 6 states. New Mexico and Maine experienced the largest over the month unemployment rate increases by +4.3 percentage points and +3.2 percentage points, respectively.

Furthermore, the largest jobless rate increase from July 2019 was observed in Massachusetts (+13.2 percentage points) and New York (+12.0 points). However, 3 states experienced increases of 10.0 points or more. Moreover, the smallest jobless rate increases over the year were experienced in Kentucky (+1.4 percentage points) and Nebraska (+1.7 points).

Nonfarm Payroll Employment

In July 2020, nonfarm payroll employment rose in 40 states. The largest increases in employment occurred in New York (+176,600), California (+140,400), and New Jersey (+129,900). The largest percentage increases were recorded in New

Jersey (+3.6%), Rhode Island (+3.1%), and Michigan and Missouri (+2.7% each). Meanwhile, New Mexico experienced a decrease of 6,000, or -0.8% in employment.

Moreover, according to BLS, “nonfarm payroll employment decreased in 49 states and the District of Columbia and was essentially unchanged in Idaho. The largest job declines occurred in California (-1,643,600), New York (-1,345,800), and Texas (-694,400). The smallest declines occurred in Wyoming (-20,200), South Dakota (-20,300), and Montana (-23,600). The largest percentage declines occurred in Hawaii (-16.1%), New York (-13.7%), and Massachusetts (-12.2%). The smallest percentage declines occurred in Utah (-2.0%), Arizona (-3.6%), and Mississippi (-3.7%).”

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