September 23, 2020
For the month of August, jobless rates were lower in 41 states, higher in 2 states, and unchanged in 7 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 1.8 percentage points decrease in the national unemployment rate to 8.4% over the month but was 4.7 percentage points higher than in August 2019.
In addition, “nonfarm payroll employment increased in 40 states and was essentially unchanged in 10 states and the District of Columbia in August 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.
Notably, Nevada exhibited the highest jobless rate in August, 13.2%, followed by Rhode Island, 12.8% and Hawaii and New York. The rates in Nebraska (4.0%), Utah (4.1%), and Idaho (4.2%) were the lowest. In total, 29 states experienced unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 8.4%, 10 states had higher rates, and 11 states and the District of Columbia experienced unemployment rates that were not noticeably different from that of the nation.
For August, Massachusetts had the largest over-the-month unemployment rate decrease by 4.9 percentage points while jobless rates in Arizona decreased by 4.8 percentage points. Rates decreased over the month by at least 2.0 percentage points in an additional 14 states. Kentucky (+3.1 percentage points) and Rhode Island (+1.5 points) observed the largest over the month unemployment rate.
Furthermore, the largest jobless rate increase from August 2019 was observed in Hawaii (+9.8 percentage points), Nevada (+9.4 points), and Rhode Island (+9.3 points). Moreover, the smallest jobless rate increases over the year were recorded in Nebraska (+0.9 percentage point) and Alaska (+1.2 points).
Nonfarm Payroll Employment
In August 2020, nonfarm payroll employment rose in 40 states and was stable in 10 states and the District of Columbia. The largest increases in employment occurred in New York (+153,300), Texas (+106,800), and California (+101,900). The largest percentage increases were recorded in New Jersey, New York, and Virginia (+1.8% each); Kentucky and New Hampshire (+1.7% each); and Alaska, Indiana, and Massachusetts (+1.6% each).
Moreover, according to BLS, “over the year, 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 (-1,598,200), New York (-1,214,500), and Texas (-616,600). The smallest declines occurred in South Dakota (-19,900), Wyoming (-21,400), and Montana (-24,300). The largest percentage declines occurred in Hawaii (-16.1%), New York (-12.4%), and Massachusetts (-10.9%). The smallest percentage declines occurred in Utah (-1.8%), Mississippi (-2.6%), and Arizona (-3.2%).”
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