U.S. Regional and State Employment Report for Aug. (Text)

The following is the text of the U.S. state employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

REGIONAL AND STATE EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT -- AUGUST 2011

Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in August. Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia reported unemployment rate increases, 12 states recorded rate decreases, and 12 states had no rate change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Thirty-seven states registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, 11 states and the District of Columbia had increases, and 2 states experienced no change. The national jobless rate was unchanged at 9.1 percent but was 0.5 percentage point lower than a year earlier.

In August, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in 30 states and the District of Columbia and increased in 20 states. The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in New York (- 22,700), followed by Georgia (-18,200) and the District of Columbia (-12,500). The largest over-the-month increase in employment occurred in Minnesota (+28,400), followed by North Carolina (+16,500), Arizona (+15,400), and Florida (+9,900). The District of Columbia experienced the largest over-the-month percentage decline in employment (-1.8 percent), followed by Rhode Island (-1.3 percent) and Hawaii (-0.9 percent). Minnesota experienced the largest over-the-month percentage increase in employment (+1.1 percent), followed by Arizona (+0.6 percent) and Idaho and Vermont (+0.5 percent each). Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 44 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in 6 states. The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in North Dakota (+5.0 percent), followed by Utah and Wyoming (+3.0 percent each). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment occurred in Delaware (-1.0 percent), followed by Georgia and Indiana (-0.8 percent each).

Regional Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

The West recorded the highest regional unemployment rate in August, 10.6 percent, while the Northeast reported the lowest rate, 8.2 percent. Over the month, the Midwest was the only region to experience a statistically significant jobless rate change (+0.2 percentage point). Two of the regions had significant rate changes from a year earlier, both decreases: the Midwest (-0.5 percentage point) and West (-0.4 point).

Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific continued to report the highest jobless rate, 11.2 percent in August. The West North Central again registered the lowest rate, 6.9 percent. Over the month, the East North Central was the only division to experience a statistically significant unemployment rate change (+0.2 percentage point). The East North Central also recorded the only significant rate change among divisions over the year (-0.6 percentage point).

State Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

Nevada continued to report the highest unemployment rate among the states, 13.4 percent in August. California posted the next highest rate, 12.1 percent. North Dakota registered the lowest jobless rate, 3.5 percent, followed by Nebraska, 4.2 percent. In total, 25 states reported jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 9.1 percent, 8 states and the District of Columbia had measurably higher rates, and 17 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

Seven states experienced statistically significant over-the- month unemployment rate increases in August. Illinois and Pennsylvania reported the largest of these (+0.4 percentage point each), followed by North Carolina (+0.3 point); Maryland, North Dakota, and Virginia (+0.2 point each); and Georgia (+0.1 point). The District of Columbia also posted a significant over- the-month rate increase (+0.3 percentage point). The remaining 43 states recorded jobless rates that were not measurably different from those of a month earlier, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes.

New Mexico registered the largest jobless rate decrease from August 2010 (-1.9 percentage points). Four additional states reported smaller but also statistically significant decreases over the year: Oklahoma (-1.4 percentage points), Indiana (-1.3 points), Oregon (-1.1 points), and Florida (-0.9 point). The District of Columbia posted the only significant rate increase from a year earlier (+1.3 percentage points). Forty-five states recorded unemployment rates that were not appreciably different from those of a year earlier.

Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Seasonally Adjusted)

Over the month, 13 states and the District of Columbia recorded statistically significant changes in employment. The largest over-the-month statistically significant declines in employment occurred in New York (-22,700), Georgia (-18,200), and the District of Columbia (-12,500). The largest over-the-month statistically significant job gains occurred in Minnesota (+28,400), North Carolina (+16,500), and Arizona (+15,400).

Over the year, 25 states experienced statistically significant changes in employment, 24 of which were increases. The largest increase occurred in Texas (+253,200), followed by California (+171,300), New York (+83,400), Ohio (+80,300), and Michigan (+79,800). The only state with an over-the-year statistically significant decrease in employment was Georgia (-29,500).

____________ The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for August is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 28, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news release for September is scheduled to be released on Friday, October 21, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

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