Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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May Unemployment Rate Falls in 37 States and DC

Unemployment rates were slightly lower in May across most of the nation, according to a report released today by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

While 7 states reported no change in the unemployment rate, 37 states and the District of Columbia had a decrease and 6 states had an increase. The nationwide jobless rate in May decreased from the prior month by .2 percentage point to 9.7%, but was still above the 9.4% reading from a year ago.

Non-farm payroll employment increased in 41 states and the District of Columbia in May, decreased in 5 states and remained unchanged in 4 states. Texas had the largest increase in May, adding 43,600 jobs, followed by California - 28,300; New York - 21,000; and Florida and Virginia which each added 20,300 jobs.

New Mexico reported the largest decrease in employment with a loss of 1,700, followed by South Dakota - 800; Idaho - 200; and Montana and Nebraska each with an employment decrease of 100.

In May, Nevada had the highest unemployment rate of all the states at 14% - this rate sets a new high including state, region, and division records since the BLS began keeping track in 1976. Nevada's unemployment rate has also increased the most - by 2.5 percentage points - over the past year. This is the first month that any state has bypassed Michigan to take the highest unemployment rate since April of 2006, but Michigan follows closely behind with an unemployment rate of 13.6%. The next highest jobless rates were in California at 12.4%, Rhode Island at 12.3%, Florida at 11.7%, Mississippi at 11.4% and South Carolina at 11%.

One state's economy appears to have been resilient throughout the economic problems of the rest of the nation. North Dakota continues to have lowest unemployment rate at 3.6% in May and is the only state to have added a significant number of jobs with a payroll employment increase of 5,300 over the year. A year ago North Dakota's unemployment rate was 4.4%.

South Dakota has the next lowest unemployment rate in May at 4.6%, followed by Nebraska at 4.9%; Vermont at 6.2%; New Hampshire at 6.4%; and Kansas at 6.5%. In total, 25 states had an unemployment rate significantly lower than the national average of 9.7%, nine had measurably higher rates, and 16 states and the District of Columbia had jobless rates that were not very different from the U.S. average.

The District of Columbia had the largest one month improvement in their unemployment rate - down .6 percentage point for a jobless rate of 10.4% in May. North Carolina and South Carolina also had a good improvement in one month's time for May; both states reported a decrease of .5 percentage point in their unemployment rates. Illinois and Michigan came in next, each improving their jobless rate by .4 percentage point for May.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Sunday, 26 March 2023

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