Market Employment Summary

The Market Employment Summary for June 2021

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Published On: June 28, 2021

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its June 23rd State Employment and Unemployment recap. The data revealed a small reduction (0.3%) in the unemployment rate across the country; this marks the first time since the height of the pandemic that the unemployment rate has dipped below 6%.

Last month’s 0.3% reduction in unemployment is also equal to the total unemployment rate decrease of the 2 preceding months combined, which is a good trend.

In this blog post, we break down the market employment summary by state and county level to show employment trends across markets and sectors.  

States With the Highest Unemployment Rates

Hawaii continues to be the state with the highest unemployment rate (8.1% as of the latest report, down from 8.5% the month prior). This represents an unemployment rate reduction that is about 33% faster than the rate reduction of the rest of the country.

In fact, Hawaii tied for the second-largest month-to-month unemployment rate decrease, alongside New York, Connecticut and South Carolina. After Hawaii, the next two states with the highest unemployment rates last month were New Mexico and California at 8% and 7.9%, respectively. 

While California’s month-to-month rate reduction tracked with the U.S. as a whole at 0.3%, New Mexico’s rate fell by only 0.2%. 

New Mexico trails only Washington, D.C. (-1.7%) with a year-over-year unemployment rate reduction of only 2% since last May. There is good reason for optimism, however, given that New Mexico saw the largest percentage gain of new, non-farm job additions last month at 1.1% (Hawaii had the third-largest percentage jobs gains at 0.7% after Nevada at 0.8%).

Counties With the Highest Unemployment Rates

On a county level, sparsely populated areas top the list for both the highest and lowest unemployment rates. 

On the upper end of the unemployment rate spectrum, Kusilvak Census Area, Alaska, and Skagway Municipality, Alaska, top the list at 23% and 18.3% unemployment rates respectively—but these two areas only account for 641 unemployed persons in total.

Among counties with more than 10,000 employed residents, Starr, Texas, has the highest unemployment rate at 17.7%, while Imperial, California, has the highest rate for a county containing more than 50k employed persons (16.1%).

Bronx, New York, has the highest rate for a county with more than 100k employed persons (15%).

States With the Lowest Unemployment Rates

New Hampshire holds the current lowest unemployment figures at 2.5%, just edging out neighboring Vermont as well as Nebraska at 2.6% apiece.  

Delaware and Rhode Island saw the largest reduction in their unemployment rates at minus 0.5% each, while the only state that saw their unemployment rate increase last month was Ohio that went up by 0.3%. 

Counties With the Lowest Unemployment Rates

Two counties in Nebraska claim the top two lowest unemployment rates at a county level—Rock County (1% unemployment) and Wheeler Country (1.2%), which collectively account for only 16 unemployed persons and nearly 1,500 employed persons. 

The lowest unemployment rate for a county with more than 10,000 employed persons goes to Texas County, Oklahoma (1.5%). Shelby, Alabama, has the lowest rate for a county containing more than either 50k/100k employees at 1.9%.

States With New Job Gains

In terms of raw jobs gains, population centers tend to dominate, and that is the case here with California (+104,500), Florida (+39,900) and Texas (+34,400) topping the list of states with the most new jobs added over the month. 

Unsurprisingly, California and Texas are both among the top three states for year-over-year jobs gains as well, with New York replacing Florida to round out that grouping.

Mployer Advisor's Take 

As a whole, the latest BLS report represents the best market report of the spring season, which bodes well for continuing economic recovery as we head into the summer. Although significant uncertainty lies ahead as new viral variants clash with the growing pains of a swiftly reopening economy, the current trend is surely encouraging. If you would like more specific market summary data, click here to learn more about Mployer Advisor's monthly Market Employment Summary report.

Market Employment Summary


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Brian Freeman

CEO & Founder, Mployer Advisor


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