Unemployment Down In 36 States in November

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly state-by-state unemployment data (.pdf) for November today. You might recall that the national unemployment rate declined slightly from 10.2% in October to 10.0% in November. As a result, it shouldn't be surprising that most states also fared well in November, compared to October. Here are some highlights from the report.

The worst state for employment remains Michigan at 14.7% unemployment. That's better than it has been over the past few months however, as unemployment there was 15.3% in September and 15.1% in October. Rhode Island takes the second spot with 12.7% unemployment. South Carolina, Florida and Nevada are all next in line, tied with 12.3%

From October to November, the number of unemployed dropped the most for California, with 45,000 fewer unemployed. That was followed by New York and Texas with 37,000 and 30,000 fewer unemployed.

A whopping 36 states and the District of Columbia saw their unemployment rate decline in November. States who experienced the largest decline by rate included Kentucky and Louisiana where unemployment declined by 0.7%. Connecticut and Nevada saw a 0.6% decline. Seven others' unemployment rate decreased by 0.4%

In six states the rate was unchanged, but eight states actually saw their unemployment rates increase. November was particularly damaging for South Carolina and Florida, who saw their unemployment rates increase by 0.3% and 0.2%, respectively. For Florida, there were nearly 21,000 more unemployed -- far more than any other state. During a month when so many other states recorded fewer jobless Americans, increases like this are particularly troubling.

Here's the usual map showing unemployment in various regions. It looks a lot like last month's:

state umep 2009-11.PNG

Note: All of these statistics are seasonally adjusted by BLS.