Regional and State Unemployment Rates Stable in August

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate increases, 17 states had decreases and 15 states had no change, according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rates decrease from a year earlier, 12 states had increases, and two states had no change. The national jobless rate was little changed from July at 7.3 percent and was 0.8 percentage point lower than in August 2012.

In August 2013, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 29 states, decreased in 20 states and the District of Columbia, and remained unchanged in Montana. The largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in New York (+30,400) and California (+29,100). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in Georgia (-16,100), followed by Ohio (-8,200) and Arizona (-7,900). The largest over-the-month percentage increase in employment occurred in Nevada (+1.0 percent), followed by Louisiana (+0.7 percent). The largest over-the-month percentage declines in employment occurred in Connecticut and Georgia (-0.4 percent each), followed by Arizona and the District of Columbia (-0.3 percent each). Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 49 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in Alaska. The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in North Dakota (+3.0 percent), followed by Idaho (+2.8 percent) and Utah (+2.6 percent). The only over-the-year percentage decrease in employment occurred in Alaska (-0.5 percent).

For seasonally adjusted regional employment in August, the West continued to have the highest regional unemployment rate, 8.0 percent, while the South had the lowest rate, 7.2 percent. Over the month, no region had a statistically significant unemployment rate change. Significant over-the-year rate changes occurred in three regions: the West (-1.2 percentage points), Northeast (-0.6 point), and South (-0.5 point).

Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific had the highest jobless rate at 8.4 percent in August. The West North Central again had the lowest rate at 5.5 percent.

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