The national BLS “The Employment Situation report – November 2014” showed an impressive surge in employment, adding 321,000 new jobs to the economy – 100,000+ more jobs than the previous month. This upswing has economists hopeful that growth will continue as we round out the year.
Looking to the BLS’s latest “Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment report – October 2014”, we see that unemployment rates have been steadily declining throughout 2014. Compared to this time last year, US unemployment rates are lower in 354 of the 372 metropolitan areas. The national unemployment rate is also 1.2 percentage points lower than it was October 2013, coming in at 5.8 points. Overall, unemployment changes have been positive, with forty-two states and the District of Columbia showing unemployment rate decreases over the past 12 months.
Diving deeper into the October metro area numbers, Bismarck, North Dakota continues to lead the nation with the lowest unemployment rate — at 2.0 percent, a decline of 0.1 percentage points from September. Of the 372 metropolitan areas, eight areas had jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent and an impressive 144 areas had rates below 5.0 percent. The rest hovered around the national average.
In other positive news, employment increased in 318 of 372 metropolitan areas, decreased in 46 areas and was unchanged in 8 areas. Looking at the past year, the largest over-the-year employment increases occurred in New York, Northern New Jersey, Long Island, N.Y., N.J.- Pa. (+123,900), Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+120,600) and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+111,900).
Check out these key regional highlights from the BLS “Regional and State Employment and Unemployment – October 2014” report:
By the end of October, the Mid-Atlantic region showed an unemployment rate of 6.0 percent (-0.1 from the previous month). Philadelphia City, PA had the largest rate decline from a year earlier (-2.8 percentage points). New Jersey had the highest unemployment rate in the region at 6.6 percent. Pennsylvania reported the lowest unemployment rate at 5.4 percent.
The Midwest region had the lowest unemployment rate at 5.6 percent (-0.1 percent) in the month of October. Leading the charge in this region was North Dakota, who had the lowest unemployment rate of 2.8 percent. Over the past year, Illinois has seen the largest net change in unemployment, with a drop of -2.5 in the last 12 months. Michigan had the highest unemployment rate at 7.1 (-0.1 from the previous month).
The latest metro/regional stats from the #BLS #jobs report, via @AdeccoUSA: http://adec.co/blsm1114tw
By month’s end, Colorado realized the largest unemployment rate decrease in the region with a 2.2 percent decrease from the previous year (-0.4 points from the previous month). This region also saw positive job growth – the largest over-the-month percentage increases occurred in Wyoming (+1.4 percent) closely followed by Utah (+0.7 percent). Missouri had the highest unemployment rate (-0.4 percentage points from the previous month). Utah continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, with 3.6 percent (+0.1 percentage points from the previous month).
The New England region showed a 0.1 percent decrease in their unemployment rate, dropping to 5.9. Rhode Island saw one of the largest over-the-month percentage declines in employment, dropping -0.5 percent to 7.4, however it still had the highest unemployment rate in the region. New Hampshire recorded the lowest unemployment rate of the region, as it dropped 0.1 percent to 4.2 percent in October.
The Southeast region saw both positive and negative results. Florida had one of the largest over-the-month increases in employment, adding +34,400 new jobs in October, and adding an incredible +206,900 jobs over the past 12 months. Florida also had the lowest overall unemployment rate in the region, at 6.0 percent. However, Georgia had the highest unemployment rate in the country, with 7.7 percent; and Mississippi was closely behind with 7.6 percent.
The Southwest region’s unemployment rate remained the same in the month of October. Texas had one of the largest over-the-month increases in employment, adding +35,200 new jobs in October, and the most significant over-the-year job increase, adding a whopping +421,900 jobs since October 2013. Leading the charge in this region was Oklahoma, who had the lowest unemployment rate of 4.5 percent (-1.1 percent over the last year). New Mexico had the highest rate of unemployment at 6.5 percent.
The west continued to have the highest unemployment rate in the country at 6.5 percent (the same as the previous month). Within the region, both Hawaii and Idaho touted the lowest unemployment rate of 4.1 respectively. Once again, California has experienced the largest over-the-month job increases by adding 41,500 in October, and 319,500 over the last year. However, California has the highest unemployment rate at 7.3.