Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Friday, March 27, 2015                 USDL-15-0482

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 -- FEBRUARY 2015


Regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in February.
Twenty-six states had unemployment rate decreases from January, 6 states
and the District of Columbia had increases, and 18 states had no change,
the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-six states had
unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, four states had increases,
and the District of Columbia had no change. The national jobless rate edged
down to 5.5 percent from January and was 1.2 percentage points lower than
in February 2014.

In February 2015, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 36 states and
the District of Columbia, decreased in 13 states, and was unchanged in Wyoming.
The largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in California
(+29,400), Georgia (+25,400), and New York (+20,200). The largest over-the-
month decrease in employment occurred in Connecticut (-3,700), followed by
Rhode Island (-2,700) and West Virginia (-2,400). The largest over-the-month
percentage increases in employment occurred in Kansas, South Dakota, and
Utah (+0.7 percent each). The largest over-the-month percentage decline in
employment occurred in Rhode Island (-0.6 percent), followed by Alaska and
West Virginia (-0.3 percent each). Over the year, nonfarm employment increased
in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The largest over-the-year
percentage increase occurred in Utah (+4.2 percent), followed by North
Dakota (+4.0 percent) and Georgia (+3.8 percent).

Regional Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

In February, the Midwest had the lowest regional unemployment rate, 5.1
percent, while the West had the highest rate, 6.1 percent. Over the month,
three regions had statistically significant unemployment changes: the West
(-0.2 percentage point) and Midwest and South (-0.1 point each). Significant
over-the-year rate decreases occurred in all four regions: the Midwest (-1.3
percentage points), West (-1.1 points), Northeast (-1.0 point), and South
(-0.9 point). (See table 1.)

Among the nine geographic divisions, the West North Central had the lowest 
unemployment rate, 4.2 percent in February. The Pacific had the highest rate, 
6.5 percent. Over the month, statistically significant jobless rate changes 
occurred in the East South Central (-0.3 percentage point) and Pacific 
(-0.2 point). All nine divisions had significant rate declines from a year 
earlier, with the largest of these decreases occurring in the East North 
Central (-1.6 percentage points). 

State Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

Nebraska had the lowest jobless rate in February, 2.7 percent, followed by
North Dakota, 2.9 percent. Nevada had the highest rate among the states, 
7.1 percent. The District of Columbia had a rate of 7.8 percent. In total,
19 states had unemployment rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure
of 5.5 percent, 13 states and the District of Columbia had measurably higher
rates, and 18 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that
of the nation. (See tables A and 3.)

In February, nine states had statistically significant over-the-month 
unemployment rate declines, the largest of which occurred in Oregon (-0.5
percentage point). The only significant over-the-month rate increase occurred
in North Dakota (+0.1 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.)

Forty-two states had statistically significant unemployment rate declines
from February 2014, the largest of which occurred in Kentucky and Rhode
Island (-2.1 percentage points each). Three states had significant over-
the-year rate increases, the largest of which was in Louisiana (+1.3 percentage
points). The remaining five states and the District of Columbia had rates
that were not appreciably different from those of a year earlier. (See table C.)

Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Seasonally Adjusted)

In February 2015, 19 states and the District of Columbia had statistically 
significant over-the-month increases in employment and Rhode Island had a 
significant decrease (-2,700). The largest significant job gains occurred in 
California (+29,400), Georgia (+25,400), and New York (+20,200). (See tables
D and 5.)

Over the year, 38 states and the District of Columbia had statistically 
significant changes in employment, all of which were positive. The largest 
significant over-the-year job increase occurred in California (+476,400), 
followed by Texas (+357,300) and Florida (+266,600). (See table E.)

_____________
The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for February 2015 
is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). 
The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news release for March 2015 
is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).


Table A.  States with unemployment rates significantly different
from that of the U.S., February 2015, seasonally adjusted
--------------------------------------------------------------
                State                |          Rate(p)
--------------------------------------------------------------
United States (1) ...................|           5.5
                                     |
Alaska ..............................|           6.3
Arizona .............................|           6.5
California ..........................|           6.7
Colorado ............................|           4.2
Connecticut .........................|           6.4
Delaware ............................|           4.8
District of Columbia ................|           7.8
Georgia .............................|           6.3
Hawaii ..............................|           4.1
Idaho ...............................|           3.9
                                     |
Iowa ................................|           4.1
Kansas ..............................|           4.2
Louisiana ...........................|           6.7
Minnesota ...........................|           3.7
Mississippi .........................|           7.0
Montana .............................|           4.3
Nebraska ............................|           2.7
Nevada ..............................|           7.1
New Hampshire .......................|           3.9
New Jersey ..........................|           6.4
                                     |
North Dakota ........................|           2.9
Oklahoma ............................|           3.9
Rhode Island ........................|           6.3
South Carolina ......................|           6.6
South Dakota ........................|           3.4
Tennessee ...........................|           6.6
Texas ...............................|           4.3
Utah ................................|           3.4
Vermont .............................|           3.9
Virginia ............................|           4.7
                                     |
Washington ..........................|           6.3
Wisconsin ...........................|           4.8
Wyoming .............................|           4.0
--------------------------------------------------------------
   1 Data are not preliminary.
   p = preliminary.


Table B.  States with statistically significant unemployment rate changes
from January 2015 to February 2015, seasonally adjusted
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                |          Rate         |
                                |-----------|-----------| Over-the-month
             State              |  January  |  February |    change(p)
                                |   2015    |  2015(p)  |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
California .....................|     7.0   |     6.7   |      -0.3
Delaware .......................|     5.0   |     4.8   |       -.2
Idaho ..........................|     4.1   |     3.9   |       -.2
Maine ..........................|     5.2   |     5.0   |       -.2
Michigan .......................|     6.3   |     5.9   |       -.4
Nebraska .......................|     2.9   |     2.7   |       -.2
North Dakota ...................|     2.8   |     2.9   |        .1
Oregon .........................|     6.3   |     5.8   |       -.5
Vermont ........................|     4.1   |     3.9   |       -.2
Wisconsin ......................|     5.0   |     4.8   |       -.2
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.


Table C.  States with statistically significant unemployment rate changes
from February 2014 to February 2015, seasonally adjusted
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                |          Rate         |
                                |-----------|-----------|  Over-the-year
             State              |  February |  February |    change(p)
                                |    2014   |  2015(p)  |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama ........................|     7.2   |     5.8   |      -1.4
Alaska .........................|     6.9   |     6.3   |       -.6
Arizona ........................|     7.1   |     6.5   |       -.6
Arkansas .......................|     6.5   |     5.5   |      -1.0
California .....................|     8.0   |     6.7   |      -1.3
Colorado .......................|     5.6   |     4.2   |      -1.4
Connecticut ....................|     7.0   |     6.4   |       -.6
Delaware .......................|     6.0   |     4.8   |      -1.2
Florida ........................|     6.5   |     5.6   |       -.9
Georgia ........................|     7.3   |     6.3   |      -1.0
                                |           |           |
Hawaii .........................|     4.7   |     4.1   |       -.6
Idaho ..........................|     5.0   |     3.9   |      -1.1
Illinois .......................|     7.9   |     6.0   |      -1.9
Iowa ...........................|     4.4   |     4.1   |       -.3
Kansas .........................|     4.6   |     4.2   |       -.4
Kentucky .......................|     7.3   |     5.2   |      -2.1
Louisiana ......................|     5.4   |     6.7   |       1.3
Maine ..........................|     5.9   |     5.0   |       -.9
Maryland .......................|     6.0   |     5.5   |       -.5
Massachusetts ..................|     6.0   |     4.9   |      -1.1
                                |           |           |
Michigan .......................|     7.8   |     5.9   |      -1.9
Minnesota ......................|     4.4   |     3.7   |       -.7
Mississippi ....................|     7.9   |     7.0   |       -.9
Missouri .......................|     6.4   |     5.5   |       -.9
Montana ........................|     4.9   |     4.3   |       -.6
Nebraska .......................|     3.5   |     2.7   |       -.8
Nevada .........................|     8.4   |     7.1   |      -1.3
New Hampshire ..................|     4.6   |     3.9   |       -.7
New Jersey .....................|     7.0   |     6.4   |       -.6
New Mexico .....................|     6.7   |     6.0   |       -.7
                                |           |           |
New York .......................|     6.7   |     5.8   |       -.9
North Carolina .................|     6.5   |     5.3   |      -1.2
North Dakota ...................|     2.7   |     2.9   |        .2
Ohio ...........................|     6.2   |     5.1   |      -1.1
Oklahoma .......................|     4.9   |     3.9   |      -1.0
Oregon .........................|     7.1   |     5.8   |      -1.3
Pennsylvania ...................|     6.2   |     5.2   |      -1.0
Rhode Island ...................|     8.4   |     6.3   |      -2.1
South Carolina .................|     6.1   |     6.6   |        .5
Texas ..........................|     5.4   |     4.3   |      -1.1
                                |           |           |
Utah ...........................|     3.8   |     3.4   |       -.4
Virginia .......................|     5.3   |     4.7   |       -.6
West Virginia ..................|     6.8   |     6.1   |       -.7
Wisconsin ......................|     5.8   |     4.8   |      -1.0
Wyoming ........................|     4.3   |     4.0   |       -.3
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.


Table D.  States with statistically significant employment changes from
January 2015 to February 2015, seasonally adjusted
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              |   January   |   February  | Over-the-month
           State              |    2015     |   2015(p)   |    change(p)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arizona ......................|   2,611,900 |   2,624,200 |      12,300
Arkansas .....................|   1,206,100 |   1,211,300 |       5,200
California ...................|  15,919,800 |  15,949,200 |      29,400
Colorado .....................|   2,498,400 |   2,510,600 |      12,200
District of Columbia .........|     759,700 |     764,100 |       4,400
Florida ......................|   7,970,500 |   7,990,200 |      19,700
Georgia ......................|   4,220,400 |   4,245,800 |      25,400
Idaho ........................|     668,800 |     672,100 |       3,300
Illinois .....................|   5,902,200 |   5,916,000 |      13,800
Kansas .......................|   1,397,800 |   1,407,300 |       9,500
                              |             |             |            
Minnesota ....................|   2,826,500 |   2,838,300 |      11,800
New Mexico ...................|     828,700 |     832,700 |       4,000
New York .....................|   9,168,200 |   9,188,400 |      20,200
North Carolina ...............|   4,204,700 |   4,221,500 |      16,800
Pennsylvania .................|   5,815,900 |   5,829,200 |      13,300
Rhode Island .................|     481,700 |     479,000 |      -2,700
South Carolina ...............|   1,977,700 |   1,988,100 |      10,400
South Dakota .................|     425,000 |     427,800 |       2,800
Utah .........................|   1,359,800 |   1,369,300 |       9,500
Virginia .....................|   3,786,200 |   3,797,800 |      11,600
Wisconsin ....................|   2,877,000 |   2,891,900 |      14,900
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.


Table E.  States with statistically significant employment changes from
February 2014 to February 2015, seasonally adjusted
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              |   February  |   February  | Over-the-year
           State              |     2014    |   2015(p)   |   change(p)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama ......................|   1,909,300 |   1,944,500 |      35,200
Arizona ......................|   2,552,300 |   2,624,200 |      71,900
Arkansas .....................|   1,181,900 |   1,211,300 |      29,400
California ...................|  15,472,800 |  15,949,200 |     476,400
Colorado .....................|   2,431,200 |   2,510,600 |      79,400
Connecticut ..................|   1,656,100 |   1,681,900 |      25,800
Delaware .....................|     434,500 |     443,200 |       8,700
District of Columbia .........|     750,700 |     764,100 |      13,400
Florida ......................|   7,723,600 |   7,990,200 |     266,600
Georgia ......................|   4,088,400 |   4,245,800 |     157,400
                              |             |             |            
Idaho ........................|     650,500 |     672,100 |      21,600
Illinois .....................|   5,836,200 |   5,916,000 |      79,800
Indiana ......................|   2,962,300 |   3,020,300 |      58,000
Iowa .........................|   1,539,900 |   1,561,700 |      21,800
Kansas .......................|   1,386,100 |   1,407,300 |      21,200
Kentucky .....................|   1,841,300 |   1,884,300 |      43,000
Maryland .....................|   2,601,700 |   2,647,700 |      46,000
Massachusetts ................|   3,389,500 |   3,447,600 |      58,100
Michigan .....................|   4,158,000 |   4,247,900 |      89,900
Minnesota ....................|   2,796,300 |   2,838,300 |      42,000
                              |             |             |            
Missouri .....................|   2,723,800 |   2,764,200 |      40,400
Nebraska .....................|     991,100 |   1,002,200 |      11,100
Nevada .......................|   1,198,600 |   1,235,500 |      36,900
New Jersey ...................|   3,939,700 |   3,994,100 |      54,400
New Mexico ...................|     816,200 |     832,700 |      16,500
New York .....................|   9,028,000 |   9,188,400 |     160,400
North Carolina ...............|   4,086,900 |   4,221,500 |     134,600
North Dakota .................|     453,200 |     471,200 |      18,000
Ohio .........................|   5,302,800 |   5,387,200 |      84,400
Oklahoma .....................|   1,647,900 |   1,670,600 |      22,700
                              |             |             |            
Oregon .......................|   1,698,200 |   1,755,100 |      56,900
Pennsylvania .................|   5,756,100 |   5,829,200 |      73,100
South Carolina ...............|   1,925,300 |   1,988,100 |      62,800
Tennessee ....................|   2,788,700 |   2,849,100 |      60,400
Texas ........................|  11,412,400 |  11,769,700 |     357,300
Utah .........................|   1,314,100 |   1,369,300 |      55,200
Virginia .....................|   3,755,000 |   3,797,800 |      42,800
Washington ...................|   3,043,700 |   3,138,600 |      94,900
Wisconsin ....................|   2,832,000 |   2,891,900 |      59,900
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.



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Last Modified Date: March 27, 2015