January 27, 2011
Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific (in the West region) continued to report the highest jobless rate in December, 11.6 percent. The West North Central division (in the Midwest) again registered the lowest rate, 7.1 percent.
Over the year, from December 2009 to December 2010, four divisions posted measurable unemployment rate decreases: the East North Central (−1.6 percentage points), East South Central (−1.1 points), New England (−0.7 point), and Middle Atlantic (−0.6 point). The Mountain division experienced the only significant unemployment rate increase from a year earlier (+0.7 percentage point).
Among the four geographic regions, the West reported the highest regional unemployment rate in December, 10.9 percent. The Northeast region recorded the lowest unemployment rate, 8.4 percent. Two of the regions registered significant rate changes from a year earlier: the Midwest (−1.1 percentage points) and Northeast (−0.6 point).
Thirteen states reported statistically significant over-the-year jobless rate decreases in December, the largest of which was in Michigan (part of the Midwest region’s East North Central division), where the over-the-year change was −2.8 percentage points. The District of Columbia (in the South region’s South Atlantic division) also posted a significant over-the year rate decrease (−2.2 percentage points).
Colorado and Utah (in the West's Mountain division) recorded the only significant unemployment rate increases from December 2009 (+1.5 and +0.9 percentage point(s), respectively).
These data are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program and are seasonally adjusted. Data for the most recent month are preliminary. See "Regional and State Employment and Unemployment — December 2010" (HTML) (PDF), new release USDL-11-0083, to learn more.