Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—November 22, 2011. Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed or slightly lower in October. Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia recorded unemployment rate decreases, five states posted rate increases, and nine states had no rate change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty states registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, eight states and the District of Columbia had increases, and two states experienced no change. The national jobless rate was little changed at 9.0 percent, but was 0.7 percentage point lower than a year earlier.
In October, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 39 states and the District of Columbia, and decreased in 11 states. The largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in Illinois (+30,000) and California (+25,700). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in Wisconsin (-9,700), followed by New York (-8,300) and Minnesota (-6,100). Delaware experienced the largest over-the-month percentage increase in employment (+1.0 percent), followed by North Dakota (+0.7 percent) and Oklahoma (+0.6 percent). Wisconsin experienced the largest over-the-month percentage decline in employment (-0.4 percent), followed by Maine, Rhode Island, and Wyoming (-0.3 percent each). Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 45 states and the District of Columbia, and decreased in 5 states. The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in North Dakota (+4.9 percent), followed by Oklahoma (+3.1 percent) and Utah (+2.6 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Georgia (-0.9 percent) and Indiana (-0.4 percent).
Regional Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)
The West continued to record the highest regional unemployment rate in October, 10.3 percent, while the Northeast again reported the lowest rate, 8.1 percent. Over the month, the South and West registered statistically significant jobless rate changes (-0.1 percentage point each). Two regions had significant rate changes from a year earlier, both decreases: the West (-0.7 percentage point) and Midwest (-0.5 point). (See table 1.)
Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific continued to report the highest jobless rate, 10.9 percent in October. The West North Central again registered the lowest rate, 6.6 percent. Three divisions experienced statistically significant unemployment rate changes over the month: the Pacific, South Atlantic, and West North Central (-0.2 percentage point each). Over the year, five divisions recorded significant rate decreases, the largest of which was in the Mountain (-0.9 percentage point). No division had a statistically significant unemployment rate increase from October 2010.
State Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)
Nevada continued to record the highest unemployment rate among the states, 13.4 percent in October. California posted the next highest rate, 11.7 percent. North Dakota registered the lowest jobless rate, 3.5 percent, followed by Nebraska, 4.2 percent. In total, 26 states reported jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 9.0 percent, 10 states and the District of Columbia had measurably higher rates, and 14 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation. (See tables A and 3.)
Twelve states experienced statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate declines in October. The largest of these were in Alabama, Michigan, and Minnesota (-0.5 percentage point each), followed by South Carolina and Utah (-0.4 point each).
Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia recorded 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 Mexico registered the largest jobless rate decrease from October 2010 (-2.0 percentage points). Four additional states reported smaller but also statistically significant decreases over the year: Florida (-1.5 percentage points), Oregon (-1.1 points), Massachusetts (-1.0 point), and California (-0.8 point). The District of Columbia posted the only significant rate increase from a year earlier (+1.3 percentage points). Forty-five states recorded unemployment rates that were not appreciably different from those of a year earlier.
Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Seasonally Adjusted)
In October, 14 states recorded statistically significant changes in employment, 13 of which were increases. The largest over-the-month statistically significant job gains occurred in Illinois (+30,000), California (+25,700), Virginia (+14,000), and Pennsylvania (+13,800). The only state with an over-the-month statistically significant decline in employment was Wisconsin (-9,700). (See tables C and 5.)
Over the year, 23 states experienced statistically significant changes in employment, 22 of which were increases. The largest increase occurred in California (+239,100), followed by Texas (+231,600) and Florida (+93,900). The only state with an over-the-year statistically significant decrease in employment was Georgia (-33,300). (See table D.)
To view the tables referenced above, see: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.nr0.htm