September 17, 2010

Unemployment: Where Does Your State Rank?

It's good to be in the Dakotas, Nevada is a losing bet and financial services employment improves

A state-by-state analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistic's most recent unemployment numbers show states considered to be "rural" are close to, or in, full employment. North and South Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Vermont recorded the lowest unemployment rates, ranging from 3.6% to 6%.

Florida, Rhode Island, California, Michigan and Nevada recorded the country's highest jobless rates, coming in between 11.5% and 14.3%.

Specific to the financial sector, New York ranks 22nd with 8.2% unemployment, well below the national average of 9.6%.

As of July, New York City's unemployment rate fell for the seventh straight month to 9.4%. The Labor Department cited hiring by financial companies as the reason as 4,000 jobs were added, including 1,200 by securities firms. Over the past 12 months, industry employment is still down 1,400 jobs, or 0.3%.

Overall, 18 states and the District of Columbia recorded unemployment rate decreases, 14 states registered rate increases, and 18 states had no change. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia reported unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, 20 states posted increases, and 3 states had no change.

On a regional, the West reported the highest regional unemployment rate in July, 10.8 percent, while the Northeast recorded the lowest rate, 8.8 percent. No region experienced a statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate change. The Midwest was the only region to register a significant rate change from a year earlier (-0.6 percentage point).

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