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First Cut: State and regional unemployment rates low and stable in November

State unemployment rates were not much changed in November. The BLS said that rates were lower in 7 states, higher in 5, and stable in 38 states and the District of Columbia. Changes were broadly no more than a tenth in either direction. Most states are experiencing low unemployment, although what is low in one state may not look the same in another. The state with the lowest rate of unemployment was Vermont with 2.3%. The highest was Alaska at 6.1%, although that was a new series low for the state.

In the 10 states with the largest share of the labor force, conditions were not very different for November from October.

The rate for the Northeast inched up a tenth to 3.7% in November. New York state’s rate was unchanged at 4.0%, while Pennsylvania’s was up a tenth to 4.3%.

The rate for the Midwest was unchanged at 3.6% in November. The rate was down a tenth to 3.8% for Illinois and 4.0% in Michigan. The rate was unchanged at 4.2% for Ohio.

The rape for the South dipped a tenth to 3.4% in November. Florida and Georgia both declined a tenth to 3.1% and 3.3%, respectively. North Carolina’s rate fell two tenths to 3.8%. Texas was unchanged at 3.4%.

The rate for the West was unchanged at 3.9% and was the same for California at 3.9%.

Payrolls were up in 9 of the 10 states with the largest share of the labor force. The exception was Illinois with a decline of 17,200 which was probably related to weather and weak conditions in manufacturing. Among the states with an increase, the largest was in Texas at up 37,500. Nearly half of all payroll gains in November were in the 9 states with an increase.

 

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