Jan. 2016 Jobless Rates Down in 28 States, Up in 8; Payroll Jobs Up in 30 States, Down in 20

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—March 14, 2016. Regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in January. Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from December, 8 states had increases, and 14 states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, nine states had increases, and four states had no change. The national jobless rate, 4.9 percent, was little changed from December and was 0.8 percentage point lower than in January 2015.

In January 2016, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 30 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in 20 states. The largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in Florida (+32,200), Texas (+31,400), and North Carolina (+23,200). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in Pennsylvania (-16,100), followed by New Jersey (-14,100) and South Carolina (-10,100). The largest over-the-month percentage increases in employment occurred in the District of Columbia and Vermont (+0.9 percent each), followed by Nevada (+0.6 percent). The largest over-the-month percentage decline in employment occurred in South Carolina (-0.5 percent), followed by Arkansas (-0.4 percent) and Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia (-0.3 percent each). Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 44 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in 6 states. The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in Idaho (+3.9 percent), followed by Oregon and Tennessee (+3.4 percent each). The largest over-the-year percentage decline in employment occurred in North Dakota (-4.5 percent), followed by Wyoming (-3.0 percent) and West Virginia (-1.6 percent).

Regional Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

In January, the only region with an unemployment rate measurably different from that of the U.S. was the West at 5.3 percent. Over the month, the West also had the only statistically significant unemployment rate change (-0.2 percentage point). Significant over-the-year rate decreases occurred in all four regions: the Northeast (-1.0 percentage point), West (-0.8 point), Midwest (-0.5 point), and South (-0.4 point). (See table 1.)

Among the nine geographic divisions, the West North Central had the lowest unemployment rate, 3.8 percent in January, while the East South Central and Pacific had the highest rates, 5.9 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively. These were the only three divisions with rates significantly different from that of the U.S. Over the month, the Mountain division had the only significant unemployment rate change (-0.1 percentage point).

Seven divisions had significant rate changes from a year earlier, all of which were declines. The largest of these decreases occurred in the Middle Atlantic (-1.0 percentage point).

State Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

North Dakota and South Dakota had the lowest jobless rates in January, 2.8 percent each, closely followed by New Hampshire, 2.9 percent. Mississippi had the highest rate, 6.7 percent, followed by Alaska, 6.6 percent. In total, 16 states had unemployment rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 4.9 percent, 11 states and the District of Columbia had measurably higher rates, and 23 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation. (See tables A and 3.)

In January, 10 states had statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate declines, the largest of which occurred in Oregon (-0.4 percentage point). The only significant over-the-month rate increase was in Wyoming (+0.3 percentage point). The remaining 39 states and the District of Columbia had jobless rates that were not measurably different from those of a month earlier, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes. (See table B.)

New Jersey had the largest unemployment rate decline from January 2015 (-1.9 percentage points). Twenty other states and the District of Columbia also had statistically significant rate decreases from a year earlier. The only significant over-the-year rate increase was in Wyoming (+0.9 percentage point). (See table C.)

Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Seasonally Adjusted)

In January 2016, 11 states and the District of Columbia had statistically significant over-the-month increases in employment and 5 states had decreases. The largest significant job gains occurred in Florida (+32,200), Texas (+31,400), and North Carolina (+23,200). The largest significant job decreases occurred in Pennsylvania (-16,100), New Jersey (-14,100), and South Carolina (-10,100). (See tables D and 5.)

Over the year, 34 states had statistically significant changes in employment, 31 of which were positive. The largest significant over-the-year job increase occurred in California (+444,900), followed by Florida (+263,900) and Texas (+187,400). The significant over-the-year job decreases occurred in North Dakota (-21,100), West Virginia (-12,700), and Wyoming (-8,700). (See table E.)

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The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for January 2016 is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 18, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news release for February 2016 is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 25, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

The tables referenced above can be viewed at: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.nr0.htm.

Source: http://www.bls.gov

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