Regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in March. Thirty states recorded unemployment rate decreases, 8 states posted rate increases, and 12 states and the District of Columbia had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, while New York experienced an increase. The national jobless rate was little changed from February at 8.2 percent but was 0.7 percentage point lower than in March 2011.
In March 2012, non-farm payroll employment increased in 29 states and the District of Columbia, decreased in 20 states, and was unchanged in Alabama. The largest over-the-month increase in employment occurred in New York (+19,100), followed by California (+18,200) and Arizona (+13,500). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in Ohio (-9,500), followed by New Jersey (-8,600) and Wisconsin (-4,500).
The West continued to record the highest regional unemployment rate in March, 9.6 percent, while the Midwest again reported the lowest rate, 7.4 percent. Over the month, only the South experienced a statistically significant unemployment rate change (-0.2 percentage point).
Nevada continued to record the highest unemployment rate among the states, 12.0 percent in March. Rhode Island and California posted the next highest rates, 11.1 and 11.0 percent, respectively. North Dakota again registered the lowest jobless rate, 3.0 percent, followed by Nebraska, 4.0 percent. In total, 23 states reported jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 8.2 percent, 7 states and the District of Columbia had measurably higher rates, and 20 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation. Ohio was among those 20 states.
In spite of the loss of 9,500 jobs, Ohio gained 56,000 jobs since March 2011.
Not exactly earth-shaking figures, but at there is some good news.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary, April 20,2012.