U.S. Unemployment Rates Down in 30 states in September

October 21, 2o2o

For the month of September, jobless rates were lower in 30 states, higher in 8 states, and unchanged in 12 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 0.5 percentage point decrease in the national unemployment rate to 7.9% over the month but was 4.4 percentage points higher than in September 2019.

In addition, “nonfarm payroll employment increased in 30 states, decreased in 3 states, and was essentially unchanged in 17 states and the District of Columbia in September 2020. Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in 48 states and the District and was essentially unchanged in 2 states,” as stated by the BLS.

Unemployment rates

Notably, Hawaii exhibited the highest jobless rate in September, 15.1%, followed by Nevada, 12.6%. The rates in Nebraska (3.5%), South Dakota (4.1%), and Vermont (4.2%) were the lowest. In total, 27 states experienced unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 7.9%, 8 states had higher rates, and 15 states and the District of Columbia experienced unemployment rates that were not noticeably different from that of the nation.

For September, New Jersey had the largest over-the-month unemployment rate decrease by 4.4 percentage points. Rates decreased over the month by at least 2.0 percentage points in an additional 6 states. Hawaii (+2.1 percentage points) and Idaho (+1.9 points) observed the largest over the month unemployment rate.

Furthermore, the largest jobless rate increases from September 2019 were observed in Hawaii (+12.4 percentage points) and Nevada (+8.9 points). Moreover, the smallest jobless rate increases over the year were recorded in Nebraska (+0.5 percentage point) and South Dakota (+0.7 point).

Nonfarm Payroll Employment

In September 2020, nonfarm payroll employment rose in 30 states and was stable in 17 states and the District of Columbia. The largest increases in employment occurred in New York (+109,300), California (+96,000), and New Jersey (+60,200). The largest percentage increases were recorded in New Jersey (+1.6%), followed by New York and Wyoming (+1.3% each).; However, employment declined in Indiana (-11,700, or -0.4%), Hawaii (-10,700, or -2.0%), and Kansas (-7,200, or -0.5%).

Moreover, according to BLS, “over the year, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in 48 states and the District of Columbia and was essentially unchanged in 2 states. The largest job declines occurred in California (-1,488,900), New York (-1,102,800), and Texas (-583,600). The smallest declines occurred in South Dakota (-13,000), Wyoming (-16,100), and Montana (-17,700). The largest percentage declines occurred in Hawaii (-18.4%), New York (-11.2%), and Michigan and Vermont (-9.6% each). The smallest percentage declines occurred in Mississippi (-2.2%), Nebraska (-2.5%), and South Dakota (-2.9%).”


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