Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Tuesday, January 26, 2016                 USDL-16-0156

Technical information:
 Employment:    (202) 691-6559    sminfo@bls.gov    www.bls.gov/sae
 Unemployment:  (202) 691-6392    lausinfo@bls.gov    www.bls.gov/lau
 
Media contact:  (202) 691-5902    PressOffice@bls.gov


       REGIONAL AND STATE EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT -- DECEMBER 2015


Regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in December. Twenty-five 
states had unemployment rate decreases from November, 14 states had increases, and 
11 states and the District of Columbia had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor 
Statistics reported today. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia had 
unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, while eight states had increases. 
The national jobless rate was unchanged from November at 5.0 percent and was 0.6 
percentage point lower than in December 2014.

In December 2015, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 36 states and the 
District of Columbia, and decreased in 14 states. The largest over-the-month 
increases in employment occurred in California (+60,400), Texas (+24,900), and 
Florida (+21,900). The largest over-the-month decreases in employment occurred 
in Illinois (-16,300), Oklahoma (-5,100), and North Dakota (-4,000). The largest 
over-the-month percentage increase in employment occurred in Alaska (+0.8 percent), 
followed by Arkansas, South Carolina, and Tennessee (+0.7 percent each). The 
largest over-the-month percentage decline in employment occurred in North Dakota 
(-0.9 percent), followed by Vermont (-0.7 percent) and Wyoming (-0.6 percent). Over 
the year, nonfarm employment increased in 43 states and the District of Columbia 
and decreased in 7 states. The largest over-the-year percentage increases occurred 
in Idaho (+4.4 percent), South Carolina (+3.3 percent), and Utah (+3.2 percent). 
The largest over-the-year percentage decreases occurred in North Dakota (-4.0 
percent), Wyoming (-2.2 percent), and West Virginia (-1.5 percent).

Regional Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

In December, the Midwest had the lowest regional unemployment rate, 4.7 percent, 
while the West had the highest rate, 5.4 percent. Over the month, no region had a 
statistically significant unemployment rate change. Significant over-the-year 
rate decreases occurred in all four regions: the West (-1.0 percentage point), 
Northeast (-0.8 point), Midwest (-0.6 point), and South (-0.4 point). (See 
table 1.)

Among the nine geographic divisions, the West North Central had the lowest 
unemployment rate, 3.8 percent in December. The East South Central had the 
highest rate, 5.9 percent. Over the month, no division had a statistically 
significant unemployment rate change. Six divisions had significant rate changes 
from a year earlier, all of which were declines. The largest of these decreases
occurred in the Pacific (-1.3 percentage points).

State Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

North Dakota had the lowest jobless rate in December, 2.7 percent, followed by 
Nebraska and South Dakota, 2.9 percent each. New Mexico had the highest rate, 
6.7 percent. In total, 18 states had unemployment rates significantly lower than 
the U.S. figure of 5.0 percent, 9 states and the District of Columbia had 
measurably higher rates, and 23 states had rates that were not appreciably 
different from that of the nation. (See tables A and 3.)

In December, four states had statistically significant over-the-month unemployment 
rate declines, the largest of which occurred in Missouri and Oregon (-0.3 
percentage point each). Six states had significant over-the-month rate increases, 
the largest of which was in Mississippi (+0.4 percentage point). The remaining 
40 states and the District of Columbia had jobless rates that were not measurably 
different from those of a month earlier, though some had changes that were at 
least as large numerically as the significant changes. (See table B.)

Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia had statistically significant 
unemployment rate declines from December 2014, the largest of which occurred in 
Rhode Island (-1.7 percentage points). The only significant over-the-year rate 
increase was in New Mexico (+0.7 percentage point). (See table C.)

Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Seasonally Adjusted)

In December 2015, 18 states had statistically significant over-the-month changes 
in employment, 15 of which were positive. The largest significant job gains 
occurred in California (+60,400), Texas (+24,900), and Florida (+21,900). The 
significant over-the-month decreases occurred in Illinois (-16,300), North Dakota 
(-4,000), and Vermont (-2,100). (See tables D and 5.)

Over the year, 39 states had statistically significant changes in employment, 36 
of which were positive. The largest significant over-the-year job increase occurred 
in California (+459,400), followed by Florida (+233,100) and Texas (+166,900). The 
significant over-the-year job decreases occurred in North Dakota (-18,800), West 
Virginia (-11,800), and Wyoming (-6,400). (See table E.)

_____________
The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for December 2015 
is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 3, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (EST). 
The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news release for January 2016 
is scheduled to be released on Monday, March 14, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

   _____________________________________________________________________________
  |										|
  |	  Upcoming Changes to Local Area Unemployment Statistics Data		|
  |										|
  | Effective with the release of Regional and State Unemployment 2015 Annual	|
  | Averages on February 26, 2016, the civilian labor force and unemployment	|
  | data for regions, divisions, states, the District of Columbia, and the	|
  | modeled substate areas presented in tables 1-4 of this news release will	|
  | be revised to incorporate updated inputs, new population controls,		|
  | reestimation of models, and adjustment to new division and national control	|
  | totals. Revised seasonal adjustment factors will be applied to data in	|
  | tables 1 and 3 as well. Both not seasonally adjusted and seasonally		|
  | adjusted data are subject to revision back to 2011. The new population	|
  | controls will reflect the annual updating of population estimates by the	|
  | U.S. Census Bureau.								|
  |_____________________________________________________________________________|
  
 
   ___________________________________________________________________________
  |                                                                           |
  |          Upcoming Changes to Current Employment Statistics Data           |
  |                                                                           |
  | Effective with the release of January 2016 estimates on March 14, 2016,   |
  | all nonfarm payroll employment estimates for states and areas presented   |
  | in tables 5 and 6 of this news release will be adjusted to 2015 benchmark |
  | levels. Not seasonally adjusted data beginning with April 2014 and        |
  | seasonally adjusted data beginning with January 2011 are subject to       |
  | revision. Some seasonally adjusted series may be revised back to 1990.    |
  |___________________________________________________________________________|



Table A. States with unemployment rates significantly different
from that of the U.S., December 2015, seasonally adjusted
--------------------------------------------------------------
                State                |          Rate(p)
--------------------------------------------------------------
United States (1) ...................|           5.0
                                     |
Alabama .............................|           6.2
Alaska ..............................|           6.5
California ..........................|           5.8
Colorado ............................|           3.5
District of Columbia ................|           6.6
Hawaii ..............................|           3.2
Idaho ...............................|           3.9
Illinois ............................|           5.9
Iowa ................................|           3.4
Kansas ..............................|           3.9
                                     |
Louisiana ...........................|           6.1
Maine ...............................|           4.0
Minnesota ...........................|           3.5
Mississippi .........................|           6.4
Montana .............................|           4.0
Nebraska ............................|           2.9
Nevada ..............................|           6.4
New Hampshire .......................|           3.1
New Mexico ..........................|           6.7
North Dakota ........................|           2.7
                                     |
Oklahoma ............................|           4.1
South Dakota ........................|           2.9
Utah ................................|           3.5
Vermont .............................|           3.6
Virginia ............................|           4.2
West Virginia .......................|           6.3
Wisconsin ...........................|           4.3
Wyoming .............................|           4.3
--------------------------------------------------------------
   1 Data are not preliminary.
   p = preliminary.


Table B. States with statistically significant unemployment rate changes
from November 2015 to December 2015, seasonally adjusted
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                |          Rate         |
                                |-----------|-----------| Over-the-month
             State              |  November |  December |    change(p)
                                |    2015   |   2015(p) |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Illinois .......................|     5.7   |     5.9   |       0.2
Kentucky .......................|     5.0   |     5.3   |        .3
Mississippi ....................|     6.0   |     6.4   |        .4
Missouri .......................|     4.7   |     4.4   |       -.3
Ohio ...........................|     4.5   |     4.7   |        .2
Oregon .........................|     5.7   |     5.4   |       -.3
Pennsylvania ...................|     5.0   |     4.8   |       -.2
Vermont ........................|     3.7   |     3.6   |       -.1
Washington .....................|     5.3   |     5.5   |        .2
Wyoming ........................|     4.1   |     4.3   |        .2
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.


Table C. States with statistically significant unemployment rate changes
from December 2014 to December 2015, seasonally adjusted
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                |          Rate         |
                                |-----------|-----------|  Over-the-year
             State              |  December |  December |    change(p)
                                |    2014   |   2015(p) |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arkansas .......................|     5.7   |     4.8   |      -0.9
California .....................|     7.1   |     5.8   |      -1.3
Colorado .......................|     4.2   |     3.5   |       -.7
Connecticut ....................|     6.3   |     5.2   |      -1.1
District of Columbia ...........|     7.7   |     6.6   |      -1.1
Florida ........................|     5.7   |     5.0   |       -.7
Georgia ........................|     6.6   |     5.5   |      -1.1
Hawaii .........................|     4.0   |     3.2   |       -.8
Idaho ..........................|     4.4   |     3.9   |       -.5
Indiana ........................|     5.9   |     4.4   |      -1.5
                                |           |           |
Iowa ...........................|     4.3   |     3.4   |       -.9
Louisiana ......................|     7.2   |     6.1   |      -1.1
Maine ..........................|     5.5   |     4.0   |      -1.5
Michigan .......................|     6.4   |     5.1   |      -1.3
Missouri .......................|     5.4   |     4.4   |      -1.0
New Hampshire ..................|     4.0   |     3.1   |       -.9
New Jersey .....................|     6.3   |     5.1   |      -1.2
New Mexico .....................|     6.0   |     6.7   |        .7
New York .......................|     5.8   |     4.8   |      -1.0
Oregon .........................|     6.7   |     5.4   |      -1.3
                                |           |           |
Rhode Island ...................|     6.8   |     5.1   |      -1.7
South Carolina .................|     6.6   |     5.5   |      -1.1
Vermont ........................|     4.1   |     3.6   |       -.5
Virginia .......................|     4.8   |     4.2   |       -.6
Washington .....................|     6.3   |     5.5   |       -.8
Wisconsin ......................|     5.2   |     4.3   |       -.9
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.


Table D. States with statistically significant employment changes from
November 2015 to December 2015, seasonally adjusted
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              |   November  |   December  | Over-the-month
           State              |     2015    |    2015(p)  |    change(p)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska .......................|     337,700 |     340,300 |       2,600
Arkansas .....................|   1,215,000 |   1,223,900 |       8,900
California ...................|  16,259,700 |  16,320,100 |      60,400
Colorado .....................|   2,528,700 |   2,539,400 |      10,700
Delaware .....................|     447,900 |     450,300 |       2,400
Florida ......................|   8,176,900 |   8,198,800 |      21,900
Hawaii .......................|     638,100 |     641,700 |       3,600
Illinois .....................|   5,920,300 |   5,904,000 |     -16,300
Maryland .....................|   2,685,700 |   2,696,200 |      10,500
Michigan .....................|   4,287,000 |   4,297,400 |      10,400
                              |             |             |            
Minnesota ....................|   2,864,600 |   2,873,700 |       9,100
New Jersey ...................|   4,034,200 |   4,047,500 |      13,300
North Dakota .................|     455,000 |     451,000 |      -4,000
Ohio .........................|   5,436,300 |   5,451,500 |      15,200
South Carolina ...............|   2,025,100 |   2,040,200 |      15,100
Tennessee ....................|   2,896,400 |   2,915,800 |      19,400
Texas ........................|  11,891,500 |  11,916,400 |      24,900
Vermont ......................|     316,400 |     314,300 |      -2,100
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.


Table E. States with statistically significant employment changes from
December 2014 to December 2015, seasonally adjusted
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              |   December  |   December  | Over-the-year
           State              |     2014    |    2015(p)  |    change(p)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama ......................|   1,942,800 |   1,963,100 |      20,300
Arizona ......................|   2,607,300 |   2,671,800 |      64,500
Arkansas .....................|   1,204,600 |   1,223,900 |      19,300
California ...................|  15,860,700 |  16,320,100 |     459,400
Colorado .....................|   2,492,800 |   2,539,400 |      46,600
Connecticut ..................|   1,678,100 |   1,700,700 |      22,600
Delaware .....................|     442,800 |     450,300 |       7,500
Florida ......................|   7,965,700 |   8,198,800 |     233,100
Georgia ......................|   4,226,500 |   4,317,600 |      91,100
Hawaii .......................|     626,000 |     641,700 |      15,700
                              |             |             |            
Idaho ........................|     659,100 |     688,200 |      29,100
Indiana ......................|   3,012,100 |   3,069,200 |      57,100
Iowa .........................|   1,559,100 |   1,584,700 |      25,600
Kentucky .....................|   1,880,000 |   1,920,200 |      40,200
Maine ........................|     604,700 |     613,300 |       8,600
Maryland .....................|   2,641,300 |   2,696,200 |      54,900
Massachusetts ................|   3,445,900 |   3,519,700 |      73,800
Michigan .....................|   4,217,600 |   4,297,400 |      79,800
Minnesota ....................|   2,831,400 |   2,873,700 |      42,300
Missouri .....................|   2,744,600 |   2,770,600 |      26,000
                              |             |             |            
Nebraska .....................|     996,800 |   1,011,000 |      14,200
Nevada .......................|   1,230,500 |   1,255,700 |      25,200
New Jersey ...................|   3,982,300 |   4,047,500 |      65,200
New York .....................|   9,156,300 |   9,316,200 |     159,900
North Carolina ...............|   4,203,100 |   4,289,900 |      86,800
North Dakota .................|     469,800 |     451,000 |     -18,800
Ohio .........................|   5,368,800 |   5,451,500 |      82,700
Oregon .......................|   1,750,800 |   1,798,600 |      47,800
Pennsylvania .................|   5,825,500 |   5,863,500 |      38,000
Rhode Island .................|     479,300 |     487,700 |       8,400
                              |             |             |            
South Carolina ...............|   1,975,200 |   2,040,200 |      65,000
South Dakota .................|     424,700 |     434,100 |       9,400
Tennessee ....................|   2,850,900 |   2,915,800 |      64,900
Texas ........................|  11,749,500 |  11,916,400 |     166,900
Utah .........................|   1,353,600 |   1,396,800 |      43,200
Virginia .....................|   3,797,400 |   3,856,100 |      58,700
Washington ...................|   3,122,600 |   3,210,500 |      87,900
West Virginia ................|     763,100 |     751,300 |     -11,800
Wyoming ......................|     295,000 |     288,600 |      -6,400
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.



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Last Modified Date: January 26, 2016