Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Three States Set Record Low Jobless Rates in May

State unemployment rates for May were released today by the BLS, showing that 18 states have set historical record-low jobless rates in the last year, and 12 of those record lows were set this year. The states of Arizona (3.6%), Idaho (2.3%), and Texas (4.1%) all recorded historical record low unemployment rates in May 2007.

Here are the 18 states that have set historical record-low jobless rates in the last year:

Alabama: 3.3% in April 2007
Alaska: 5.8% in April 2007
Arizona: 3.6% in May 2007
California: 4.7% in November 2006
Florida: 3.2% in October 2006
Hawaii: 2.0% in December 2006
Idaho: 2.3% in May 2007
Illinois: 4.0% in November 2006
Louisiana: 3.3% in July 2006
Montana: 2.0% in March 2007
Nevada: 4.1% in May 2006
New Mexico: 3.5% in February 2007
New York: 4.0% in March 2007
Pennsylvania: 3.8% in March 2007
Texas: 4.1% in May 2007
Utah: 2.3% in February 2007
Washington: 4.4% in April 2007
W. Virginia: 4.0% in January 2007


At 6/23/2007 3:39 PM, Blogger Ritholtz said...

I saw that data -- there are a few interesting factoids to pull out of it:

1) 19 states set their lowest historical unemployment rates in either 2000 or 2001.

I haven't looked at the historical data for this recently, but one would expect very low unemployment at the peak of any cycle.

2) A hefty percentage of the BLS measured unemployment rate is due to an ongoing decrease in the labor pool.

Recent Federal Reserve studies looked at whether this was a broad seculart change, or merely a fallout from the post dot com bubble crash. (I am not sure what the answer is)

3) I would surmise that any state that has a substantial exposure to oil and/or natural gasoline industry -- Louisiana, Texas, California, Alaska -- would be quite busy these days.

There's also been huge exploration going on in North Dakota and Montana -- with some significant finds.

(I remain bullish on all manner of energy)


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