Employment Continues to Rise — Slowly
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today released its data on state and regional unemployment for January. Compared with December data, unemployment rates rose in 25 states and the District of Columbia, while eight states posted lower unemployment rates and 17 states were unchanged. The national unemployment rate in January was 7.9%, down 0.4% from January 2012.
Compared with January 2012, the data is considerably better. Year-over-year, in January 2013, 40 states and the District of Columbia showed a drop in unemployment rates, while seven states posted gains, and three states were unchanged.
The two states showing the largest month-over-month job losses were Louisiana and Alaska, posting increases of 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively, in unemployment. Year-over-year, the largest rise in unemployment occurred in Maine and West Virginia, where unemployment rates rose by less than 0.1%.
For the past 12 months, nonfarm payrolls in 32 states rose significantly, led by Texas, which added 310,900 jobs; California, which added 254,900 jobs; Florida, which added 127,500 jobs; and New York, which added 110,600.
Month-over-month job gains were highest in Michigan, which added 26,500 jobs in January. Washington added 24,000 jobs in January and Massachusetts added 16,100, while Louisiana posted the only statistically significant job losses, with a drop of 12,500.
The January report is available here.
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