A few weeks after every big monthly job report comes out, more detailed information is released showing a breakdown of the payroll gains and losses in each state. The latest of these extended reports showed that four states and the District of Columbia had statistically significant month-over-month increases in nonfarm payroll employment in August, and three states had significant decreases. The largest absolute increases in employment last month occurred in California (+63,100), Florida (+24,500), and Virginia (+13,100), while the biggest declines were found in Michigan (-16,400), North Carolina (-14,100), and Louisiana (-7,800). The gain in Florida was helped by manufacturing employment, which grew at the fastest annual pace on record in August.
As for joblessness, six states last month had statistically significant unemployment rate increases, and three states had notable decreases. Compared to a year ago, ten states had statistically significant unemployment rate decreases, with the largest declines being found in Arkansas and Tennessee (-1.2 percentage points each). Five states had significant unemployment rate increases over the past year, with Wyoming seeing joblessness rise the most (+1.2 percentage points). The lowest unemployment rate in the country in August could be found in South Dakota (2.9 percent), and Alaska had the highest rate of joblessness last month (6.8 percent), followed closely by New Mexico (6.6 percent). For comparison, the national rate of unemployment (U-3) was 4.9 percent in August.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Calculated RiskPost author: Charles Couch