The October 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics state employment data released this morning shows the ongoing challenges faced in most regions of the country, as slow employment growth continues to take a toll on the workforce.
From July 2013 to October 2013, 34 states and the District of Columbia saw gains in employment, with California (+70,900), Florida (+70,500), and New York (+49,700) experiencing the largest net increases in jobs. North Dakota, Louisiana, and Nevada led employment gains as a percentage of jobs gained, each recording gains of 1.0 percent or more. During the same period, 16 states lost jobs.
From July 2013 to October 2013, unemployment rates declined in 32 states, rose in 11 states and the District of Columbia, and remained unchanged in seven states.
The South experienced the greatest decline in unemployment rate (-0.4 percentage point) between July and October, while only the Middle Atlantic region saw a modest uptick (+0.1 percentage point) in unemployment.
In October, there were three states—Nevada, Rhode Island and Michigan—with unemployment rates of at least 9.0 percent, and twenty states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rates above the national average of 7.3 percent. In contrast, only nine states had unemployment rates below the pre-recession national average of 5.0 percent.
With virtually every state still struggling to return to pre-recession labor market conditions, it’s time for national and state policy makers to turn their attention to the need for full-employment.