U.S. Unemployment Rates Lower in October in 4 states

Date: November 26, 2019

Four states posted lower unemployment rates in October, while two recorded higher rates for the same month. Unemployment rates remained stable in forty-four states and the District of Columbia based on a report by the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS). Last year, there were eight states with jobless rate decreases, 3 states had increases and 39 states and the District had little or no change. Whereas, there was little change in the national unemployment rate, at 3.6%, over the month and from October 2018.

In addition, “nonfarm payroll employment increased in 4 states in October 2019, decreased in 1, and was essentially unchanged in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Over the year, 27 states added nonfarm payroll jobs and 23 states and the District were essentially unchanged,” as stated by the BLS.

Unemployment rates

Notably, Vermont recorded the lowest unemployment rate in October, 2.2%, while Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 6.2%. In total, 15 states had unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 3.6%, while 12 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates. Approximately 23 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

For the period of October, South Carolina had the largest over-the-month unemployment rate decline of 0.3%, closely followed by Alabama and Utah by -0.2% each and Georgia -0.1%. However, Delaware and Pennsylvania recorded the only increases by 0.2% each. Furthermore, forty-four states and the District of Columbia had jobless rates that were not notably different from those of a month earlier.

Notably, Alabama and Colorado experienced the highest over-the-year unemployment rate decreases (-0.1 percentage point each). The largest increases from October 2018 was observed in Mississippi (+0.8 percentage point).

Nonfarm Payroll Employment

In October 2019, Nonfarm payroll employment rose in four states. The employment increases occurred in Texas (+30,100, or +0.2%), Maryland (+10,700, or +0.4%), Utah (+6,700, or +0.4%), and Nebraska (+5,200, or +0.5%). However, employment fell in October in  Michigan (-21,800, or -0.5%).

Moreover, according to BLS, “twenty-seven states had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment in October. The largest job gains occurred in California (+308,000), Texas (+297,100), and Florida (+228,600). The largest percentage gains occurred in Utah (+3.2%), Florida (+2.6%), and Arizona (+2.5%).”

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