Friday, May 22, 2009

April Jobless Rate Falls in 21 States, Stays the Same in 11 States; Best State Jobs Report In A Year

Regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in April. Twenty-one states recorded over-the-month unemployment rate decreases, 18 states and the District of Columbia registered rate increases, and 11 states had no rate change, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.

MP: April's report was the best state unemployment report in a year, measured by the number of states experiencing either a decrease in jobless rate (21 states in April including CA, FL, NY, TX, MN, WI, MO, etc.) or no rate change (11 in April) compared to the previous month. The last time that the jobless rate for 32 states either decreased or stayed the same compared to the previous month was last April 2008, when the
BLS reported that 28 states and the District of Columbia recorded over-the-month unemployment rate decreases and 8 states had no change (total of 36 states).

For example, in
December 2008 all 50 states and D.C. recorded over-the month unemployment rate increases, in January 2009 49 states and D.C. recorded over-the month increases, in February 2009 there were 49 states and D.C. with jobless rate increases, and in March 2009 there were 46 states with rate increases from the previous month and 3 with no change.

From the
data in Table 3 of today's report, it looks like some of the 18 states that recorded jobless rate increases in April had pretty large increases like Michigan (0.30% increase), Ohio (0.50% increase), Illinois (+0.40%), Connecticut (+0.40%), Rhode Island (+.50%), W. Va. (+0.7%), and those increases were much greater than the monthly decreases of -.10% or -.20% in many of the 21 states that recorded decreases in their April unemployment rates. That would explain why the national jobless rate increased in April to 8.9%, even though 21 states had lower rates in April compared to March.

Bottom Line: The fact that 21 states recorded decreases in monthly unemployment rates for April, and 11 states recorded no change in rate for the first time in a year, seems like a positive sign that job markets in most states around the country are stabilizing and recovering. The employment problems that persist are concentrated in certain Rust-belt states like MI, IL and OH, and high-tax states like CT and RI.


At 5/22/2009 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you mean "high tax states like CT and RI". CO is Colorado, and CT is Connecticut. And although the recent takeover of Colorado by the Democratic party is cause for alarm, thanks to TABOR, Colorado is not a high tax state (at least yet) when compared to other states.

At 5/22/2009 12:21 PM, Anonymous Brad S said...

My state of Colorado won't be a high-tax state for a while, despite the (temporary) Dem governor and legislature. There was an attempt to go around TABOR last Nov. 4, and it failed miserably.

It's interesting that Nevada's unemployment rate is still going up, until you see just how many folks keep getting added to the labor force there (45K just from April of last year to Feb. of this year!).

At 5/22/2009 12:22 PM, Blogger uclalien said...

"44 states lost jobs in April, led by California"

At 5/22/2009 12:39 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

I sure hope we have hit bottom, and that free trade yanks us out of this. Not sure of either.
Mercantile, state-controlled China is still growing.
Sometimes, institutional imperfections wreck the best economic theories.

At 5/22/2009 1:38 PM, Blogger Hot Sam said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5/23/2009 5:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much ado about nothing.

Four states recorded statistically significant over-the-month unemployment
rate increases in April: West Virginia (+0.7 percentage point), Ohio and Rhode
Island (+0.5 point each), and Kansas (+0.3 point). Two states, Missouri and
Nebraska, posted significant jobless rate decreases from the prior month (-0.6
and -0.3 percentage point, respectively). Forty-four states and the District
of Columbia registered April unemployment rates that were not appreciably
different from those of a month earlier, though some had changes that were
at least as large numerically as the significant changes.

At 5/23/2009 1:49 PM, Anonymous gne said...

Indeed Mark,

I had noted that last evening and posted about it at the good news economist as well last night.

Sure does appear that their is stabilization occurring in the labor market. Actually more quickly than I had expected.


At 5/24/2009 1:16 AM, Blogger Hot Sam said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5/25/2009 5:25 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Sounds more like an article that reveals more about the author's beliefs more than anything else.

The folks who usually make cheap jabs at those states here seem to see something similar to that as well.


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