Even though the national unemployment rate increased in April for the first time since October, the vast majority of states saw more jobs. In fact, only six states saw their unemployment rates increase during the month, while 34 saw their rates decline, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The other 10 had no change. Last month's national rate increase shouldn't overshadow the additional jobs states added. This is a big improvement over March, when 32 states had more unemployed residents.
So which were those six states that got worse? They included Nevada, Texas, Iowa, Colorado, Indiana, and Utah. All of their rates increased just 0.1%, except for Nevada. Its rate rose by 0.3% to an ugly 13.7%. An additional 4,900 residents of the state were unemployed in April.
Of the states that saw their unemployment rates decline, eight enjoyed a 0.3% decrease. South Carolina was the standout in April, however, with its unemployment rate declining by 0.6%. Here's a chart showing the six states where unemployment got worse and the nine most improved:
The worst state in terms of overall unemployment rate in April remains Michigan at 14.0%. But with its big increase for November, Nevada is right on its heels at 13.7%. Three other states were at or above 12%, including California (12.6%), Rhode Island (12.5%), and Florida (12.0%). As you can see in the chart above, however, Florida's labor market improved significantly in April, with 26,100 fewer unemployed.
Despite the 9.9% national rate, three states still remain at or below 5% unemployment. They include Nebraska (5%), South Dakota (4.7%), and North Dakota (3.8%). In fact, the Dakotas both saw their unemployment rates decline even further in April, by 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively. Perhaps some of those Michigan and Nevada residents should consider moving to North Dakota.
Here's a map of the U.S. showing states' unemployment rates, provided by BLS:
As the job growth continues, we should see most states' labor markets improve. Those which lost huge numbers of construction jobs due to the housing collapse will have more trouble, however. The unemployment rates of 15 states remain above 10%, which is alarmingly high. So many states still need a lot more jobs to provide some relief to their economies.
Note: All values above are seasonally adjusted.
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