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Thursday, May 9, 2013

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Mountain Division and State Unemployment - 2012

Mountain recorded jobless rate similar to that of the nation

The unemployment rate in the Mountain division declined 1.0 percentage point over the year to 7.9 percent in 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationally, the U.S. jobless rate was 8.1 percent, down 0.8 percentage point from the prior year. (See table 1.) Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that the Mountain’s unemployment rate was not significantly different than that of the national figure and has not exceeded the U.S. average since 1989. (See chart 1. All division and state series begin in 1976.)

Chart 1. Unemployment rates for the U.S. and Mountain census division, 1976-2012

The Mountain division is one of nine geographic divisions in the United States. Jobless rates in the divisions ranged from a low of 5.6 percent in the West North Central to a high of 9.8 percent in the Pacific in 2012. Three divisions—West North Central, West South Central, and New England—had rates significantly below the national figure. Two divisions, the Pacific and the Middle Atlantic, recorded annual average unemployment rates that were significantly above the U.S. average. (See table 2.)

Eight of the nine geographic divisions reported statistically significant over-the-year unemployment rate decreases in 2012. The largest of these occurred in the East South Central (-1.3 percentage points) and Pacific (-1.2 points).

Of the eight states that make up the Mountain division, five had jobless rates that were significantly lower than that for the nation —Wyoming (5.4 percent), Utah (5.7 percent), Montana (6.0 percent), New Mexico (6.9 percent), and Idaho (7.1 percent). By contrast, Nevada was the only state in the division that had an unemployment rate significantly above the national average. At 11.1 percent, Nevada recorded the highest jobless rate in the nation, exceeding the national average by 3.0 percentage points. Rates in Arizona and Colorado were not appreciably different from the U.S. rate.

For the third consecutive year, Nevada’s unemployment rate (11.1 percent) was the highest in the nation. Two additional states reported unemployment rates of 10.0 percent or more in 2012 – California (10.5 percent) and Rhode Island (10.4 percent). North Dakota registered the lowest jobless rate among the states for the fourth year in a row, 3.1 percent, followed by Nebraska, 3.9 percent, and South Dakota, 4.4 percent. Overall, 27 states had unemployment rates that were significantly lower than the U.S. rate of 8.1 percent, while 13 states and the District of Columbia recorded rates significantly above it. (See chart 2.)

Seven of the eight states in the Mountain division posted statistically significant jobless rate decreases from 2011. Nevada (-2.1 percentage points) had the largest over-the-year rate decline in the division, followed by Idaho and Utah (-1.2 points each) and Arizona (-1.1 points). Wyoming posted a decline of 0.7 percentage point and Colorado and Montana each registered a decrease of 0.6 point over the year. The unemployment rate in 2012 for New Mexico was not appreciably different from that of the prior year.

Nationally, 41 states and the District of Columbia posted statistically significant unemployment rate decreases in 2012, the largest of which were in Nevada (-2.1 percentage points), Florida (-1.7 points), and Missouri (-1.5 points). Twelve additional states and the District of Columbia experienced decreases greater than 1.0 percentage point. The remaining nine states reported annual average unemployment rates for 2012 that were not appreciably different from those of the previous year, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes. (See chart 3.)


Technical Note

This release presents labor force and unemployment data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program. Estimates for the U.S. are obtained directly from the CPS, which is a monthly sample survey of approximately 60,000 households nationwide that is conducted for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the Census Bureau. All subnational estimates presented in this release were derived from updated time-series models with monthly benchmarking to national Current Population Survey (CPS) estimates. Subnational data reflect revised population controls and model reestimation. Historical data were revised back to 2006. Data for regions, divisions, states, and the District of Columbia are available back to 1976.

The LAUS program produces data for the nine geographic divisions in the United States: New England, Middle Atlantic, South Atlantic, East South Central, West South Central, East North Central, West North Central, Mountain, and Pacific. Data for all divisions, as well as the 50 states, are available in the Regional and State Unemployment release at www.bls.gov/lau/home.htm#news.

Analysis in this news release reflects the use of model-based error measures when making comparisons with the U.S. and the prior year. BLS uses a 90-percent confidence level in determining whether changes or differences in subnational unemployment rates are statistically significant. Model-based error measures are available on the BLS Web site at www.bls.gov/lau/lastderr.htm.


Additional information

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population for the U.S., Mountain, and Mountain states, 2011-12 annual averages (Numbers in thousands)
Area Civilian labor force Employed Unemployed Unemployment rate Error range of rate, 2012(2)
2011 2012 2011 2012 2011 2012 2011 2012

United States (1)

153,617 154,975 139,869 142,469 13,747 12,506 8.9 8.1 8.0 - 8.2

Mountain

11,011 11,029 10,030 10,161 981 867 8.9 7.9 7.6 - 8.2

Arizona

3,049 3,030 2,762 2,779 287 252 9.4 8.3 7.6 - 9.0

Colorado

2,723 2,743 2,490 2,524 233 220 8.6 8.0 7.5 - 8.5

Idaho

767 773 703 719 64 55 8.3 7.1 6.3 - 7.8

Montana

499 508 466 477 33 31 6.6 6.0 5.3 - 6.7

Nevada

1,392 1,379 1,208 1,226 184 152 13.2 11.1 10.4 - 11.7

New Mexico

932 936 862 871 70 65 7.5 6.9 6.2 - 7.6

Utah

1,347 1,354 1,254 1,276 93 77 6.9 5.7 5.2 - 6.2

Wyoming

303 306 285 290 18 16 6.1 5.4 4.9 - 5.9

Footnotes:
(1) Data for the U.S. are obtained directly from the national Current Population Survey.
(2) Error ranges are shown at the 90-percent confidence level and are based on unrounded data.

Note: Data refer to place of residence. Unemployment rates are in percent and are based on unrounded levels. Data for subnational areas reflect revised population controls and model reestimation.

Table 2. Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population by region and division, 2011-12 annual averages (Numbers in thousands)
Census region and divison Civilian labor force Employed Unemployed Unemployment rate Error range of rate, 2012(1)
2011 2012 2011 2012 2011 2012 2011 2012

Northeast

28,208 28,389 25,887 26,066 2,321 2,324 8.2 8.2 8.0 - 8.4

New England

7,735 7,720 7,134 7,161 601 560 7.8 7.2 6.9 - 7.5

Middle Atlantic

20,473 20,669 18,753 18,905 1,720 1,764 8.4 8.5 8.3 - 8.8

South

56,160 56,525 51,237 52,174 4,923 4,351 8.8 7.7 7.5 - 7.9

South Atlantic

29,753 30,008 26,999 27,538 2,754 2,469 9.3 8.2 8.0 - 8.4

East South Central

8,709 8,678 7,894 7,978 814 700 9.4 8.1 7.6 - 8.5

West South Central

17,698 17,840 16,343 16,658 1,354 1,182 7.7 6.6 6.4 - 6.9

Midwest

34,265 34,149 31,405 31,631 2,860 2,518 8.3 7.4 7.2 - 7.6

East North Central

23,282 23,200 21,144 21,300 2,139 1,899 9.2 8.2 7.9 - 8.5

West North Central

10,982 10,949 10,261 10,330 721 618 6.6 5.6 5.4 - 5.9

West

35,897 35,986 32,167 32,665 3,730 3,321 10.4 9.2 9.0 - 9.4

Mountain

11,011 11,029 10,030 10,161 981 867 8.9 7.9 7.6 - 8.2

Pacific

24,885 24,957 22,137 22,504 2,748 2,453 11.0 9.8 9.6 - 10.1

Footnotes:
(1) Error ranges are shown at the 90-percent confidence level and are based on unrounded data.

NOTE: Data refer to place of residence. Unemployment rates are in percent and are based on unrounded levels. Data for subnational areas reflect revised population controls and model reestimation. As a result, they will not add to U.S. totals.
Regions are defined as the four Census regions, comprised as follows:
Northeast Region includes the New England Division - Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont; and the Middle Atlantic Division - New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
South Region includes the South Atlantic Division - Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia; East South Central Division - Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee; and West South Central Division - Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Midwest Region includes the East North Central Division - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin; and the West North Central Division - Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
West Region includes the Mountain Division - Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming; and the Pacific Division - Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.

Chart 2. Unemployment rates by state, 2012 annual averages

Chart 3. Over-the-year change in unemployment rates by state, 2012 annual averages

 

Last Modified Date: May 9, 2013