Latest BLS regional and state unemployment figures released

Jobs report: in your regionSource: BLS

In February, the U.S. unexpectedly added 175,000 jobs to the economy — which was the first time since November that more than 129,000 jobs were added. The majority of U.S. states followed suit to the national surge. In total, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 33 states and decreased in 17 states, plus the District of Columbia.

Looking closer at February unemployment rates, 29 states saw decreases from January, 10 had increases, while 11 states plus the District of Columbia stayed the same. Impressively, 49 states plus the District of Columbia realized unemployment rate decreases from the previous year—further proof that the U.S. economy is strengthening at a steady, yet prolonged pace.

Regionally, the West had the highest unemployment rate in February—reporting at 7.2 percent—0.5 percent higher than the national rate. The South showed the lowest unemployment rate of 6.1 percent. Over the course of the year all four regions had remarkable unemployment rate declines—with the South and Northeast dropping 1.2 percent each, the West decreasing 1.1 percent, and the Midwest shedding 0.8 percentage points.

Here are some key divisional highlights from the “Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary — February 2014”:
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BLS regional and state annual averages report for 2013 released

Jobs report: in your region

Source: BLS 

In 2013, as evidenced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Regional and State Unemployment — 2013 Annual Averages” report, the unemployment rate decreased in 43 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia. It rose in only 2 states, and remained unchanged in 5 states. On average, the national rate fell 0.7 percent from the previous year, with December 2013 seeing the largest year-to-year rate drop of 1.2 percent. By the end of 2013, the national unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent — the lowest since October 2008 — and in January 2014, the rate inched down to 6.6 percent.

All four U.S. regions saw remarkable decreases in their unemployment rates, with the West having the largest drop of 1.2 percentage points. While the West had the largest decrease, it still was well above the national rate, at 8.0 percent. Conversely, the South region had the only unemployment rate significantly below the national average, at 7.0 percent.

Zooming into the 9 geographic divisions, 6 of them had notable year-to-year unemployment rate decreases. The largest decrease occurred in the Pacific — which dropped 1.4 percent, and the South Atlantic — which fell 1.0 percent. Just like its parent region the Pacific had the largest percentage drop, but unfortunately retained the highest national unemployment rate of 8.4 percent — an unwanted title it has owned for the sixth year in a row.
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Regional employment upticks as recovery continues

There is no doubt about it: a trend has been established. As was the case throughout 2012, unemployment once again diminished within a majority of the United States’ metropolitan areas in December.

According to the BLS’ latest “Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment” report, published on January 30th, 290 of the nation’s 372 metro areas recorded a lower jobless rate in December 2012 than in December 2011, while 68 areas’ unemployment rates rose during that time span.
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Regional unemployment continues to drop

On January 8th, the BLS released its first “Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment” report of 2013, revealing that regional unemployment continued to decline last November.

According to the BLS, 322 of the nation’s 372 metro areas reported a lower jobless rate in November 2012 than November 2011, as only four areas recorded an unemployment rate of 15 percent or higher. Two of these areas, Yuma, Ariz., and El Centro, Calif., once again reported the nation’s highest jobless rates, at 27.5 and 26.6 percent, respectively.
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Regional unemployment remains low

Back in October, the United States’ national unemployment rate remained below eight percent for the second consecutive month, as the economy generated 171,000 new jobs – the fourth straight month in which more than 100,000 jobs were created. Therefore, the results of the BLS’ latest “Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment” report were not entirely surprising, as hiring rose within a majority of the nation’s metro areas in October.

In fact, 288 of the nation’s 372 metropolitan areas recorded an increase in nonfarm payroll employment from October 2011 to October 2012, while 329 areas’ jobless rates declined during that same time span. And, according to the report, 180 areas’ jobless rates were seven percent or lower.
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Private sector hiring was wide-ranging in October

As anticipated, private sector hiring continued to uptick in October, as the sector added 184,000 new jobs to the national economy, an increase of nearly 80,000, when compared to September’s statistics.

According to the BLS’ most recent “The Employment Situation” report, job growth was quite extensive last month, as a majority of the nation’s private sectors hired new workers.
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