The unemployment rate was stable across most of the country last month per the latest release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Although the national unemployment rate fell by .2% down to 5.2% over the period, even that small reduction only spread across 15 states while the rest remained largely unchanged.
Similarly, the jobs numbers were pretty consistent from month to month as well, with three states experiencing modest job losses, 11 states experiencing modest job gains and the remainder experiencing little to no change at all.
Below we break down the latest BLS market employment summary by state and county level to reveal ongoing employment trends.
States With the Highest Unemployment Rates
Nevada remains the state with the highest unemployment rate for the second month in row at 7.7%, followed by California and New York. While Nevada’s unemployment rate was unchanged from the previous month, California and New York saw .2% and .1% reductions respectively, both down from 7.6% the previous month.
A total of 22 states registered unemployment rates higher than the national average of 5.2%.
Counties With the Highest Unemployment Rates
The three U.S. counties with the highest unemployment rates have remained the same for the past three months: Kusilvak Census Area, Alaska; Yuma, Arizona; and Jefferson, Mississippi.
After climbing from 21.2% to 24% over the previous month, last month the unemployment rate receded back to 21.9% in Kusilvak Census Area, Alaska. Similarly, in Yuma, Arizona the rage fell from 20.4 to 20.1% over the last month. In Jefferson, Mississippi, after increasing from 18.1% to 21.9% the previous month, the unemployment rate has fallen back to 19.7% as of the latest report.
As for counties with more than 100,000 employed residents, Bronx, New York continues to top the list with an unemployment rate of 13.9%.
States With the Lowest Unemployment Rates
Despite having the lowest unemployment rate the previous month, Nebraska’s rate continued to fall down an additional .1% last month now to 2.2%.
The states with the largest month-to-month unemployment rate reductions were Arizona, Louisiana and New Mexico. Each state saw their rates reduced by about .4% over the month, while Hawaii saw the largest rate reduction on a yearly basis at -7.1%, followed by Nevada and Rhode Island that lost 6.8% each on an annual timeline.
Counties With the Lowest Unemployment Rates
Hayes, Nebraska claims the lowest countywide unemployment rate in the country, with only 6 unemployed workers in a county that currently includes 568 gainfully employed workers. However, Hayes County is far from alone as a host of Nebraska counties also maintain impressively low unemployment rates.
Not only does Nebraska contain eight of the top 10 U.S. counties with the lowest unemployment rate, but also it has 51 of the top 60 as well–with unemployment rates all below 1.7%. To say that employment figures are strong across large swaths of Nebraska would be an understatement.
States With New Job Gains
Once again, California was the state with the largest number of new jobs, adding more than 100,000 jobs for each of the past three months.
California’s addition of over 104,000 jobs last month was relatively close to doubling the next two leading states combined (Texas and New York with approximately 39,000 and 24,000 new jobs added last month, respectively).
Kentucky had the largest percentage increase in jobs over the past month (1.1% growth), followed by Nevada at .9% and New Mexico at .7%.
Employment numbers decreased in only three states last month: North Carolina, Iowa and Hawaii.
Mployer Advisor’s Take:
The pace of recovery has slowed as we head into the fall season, but questions remain as to whether or not this represents a temporary snapshot or the beginning of a larger trend. Still, there is reason to hope that the economic recovery can regain some steam next month.
Looking for more exclusive content? Check out last month's Market Employment Summary here, or read on to learn five strategic approaches to retain your company’s top talent.