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Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary

REPOST ARTICLE SOURCE: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.nr0.htm

Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in December. 
Twenty-two states recorded unemployment rate decreases, 16 states and the 
District of Columbia posted increases, and 12 states had no change, the U.S. 
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-two states and the District 
of Columbia registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, six 
states experienced increases, and two states had no change. The national 
jobless rate, 7.8 percent, was unchanged from November and was 0.7 percentage 
point lower than in December 2011.

In December 2012, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 27 states and the 
District of Columbia and decreased in 23 states. The largest over-the-month 
increase in employment occurred in New York (+35,100), followed by New Jersey 
(+30,200), Georgia (+14,400), and Missouri (+10,200). The largest over-the-month 
decrease in employment occurred in California (-17,500), followed by Florida 
(-15,300), Louisiana (-11,400), and Michigan (-10,600). New Jersey experienced 
the largest over-the-month percentage increase in employment (+0.8 percent),
followed by Kansas (+0.6 percent) and Alaska, Georgia, Missouri, and New York 
(+0.4 percent each). Hawaii experienced the largest over-the-month percentage 
decline in employment (-0.7 percent), followed by Louisiana and Wyoming (-0.6 
percent each). Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 44 states and 
decreased in 6 states and the District of Columbia. The largest over-the-year 
percentage increases occurred in North Dakota (+3.6 percent) and Utah (+3.0 
percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment occurred 
in West Virginia (-1.8 percent).

Regional Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

The West continued to record the highest regional unemployment rate in December, 
8.6 percent, while the Midwest again reported the lowest rate, 7.1 percent. 
Over the month, no region experienced a statistically significant unemployment 
rate change. In contrast, significant over-the-year rate changes occurred in 
three regions: the South and West (-1.2 percentage points each) and the Midwest 
(-0.8 point). (See table 1.)

Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific continued to report the 
highest jobless rate, 9.2 percent in December. The West North Central again 
registered the lowest rate, 5.4 percent. No division recorded a statistically 
significant over-the-month unemployment rate change. Seven divisions had 
measurable rate changes from a year earlier, all of which were decreases. 
The largest of these declines occurred in the West South Central (-1.3 
percentage points).

State Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

Nevada and Rhode Island recorded the highest unemployment rates among the 
states in December, 10.2 percent each. North Dakota again registered the 
lowest jobless rate, 3.2 percent. In total, 25 states reported jobless 
rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 7.8 percent, 8 states had 
measurably higher rates, and 17 states and the District of Columbia had 
rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation. (See 
tables A and 3.)

Nevada reported the largest over-the-month unemployment rate decrease in 
December (-0.6 percentage point). Four other states also had statistically 
significant rate decreases: Alabama (-0.4 percentage point), Connecticut 
(-0.3 point), Idaho (-0.2 point), and Vermont (-0.1 point). The remaining 
45 states and the District of Columbia recorded 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.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia reported statistically
significant unemployment rate changes from December 2011, all of which
were declines. The largest of these occurred in Nevada (-2.8 percentage 
points), followed by Florida (-1.9 points) and Mississippi (-1.8 points). 
(See table B.)

Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Seasonally Adjusted)

In December 2012, nine states recorded statistically significant over-
the-month changes in employment, six of which were increases. The largest 
statistically significant job gains occurred in New York (+35,100), New 
Jersey (+30,200), Georgia (+14,400), and Missouri (+10,200). The largest 
statistically significant job decreases occurred in Louisiana (-11,400) 
and Michigan (-10,600). (See table C.)

Over the year, 30 states experienced statistically significant changes
in employment; only West Virginia’s employment decreased (-13,900). The 
largest over-the-year jobs increase occurred in Texas (+260,800), followed 
by California (+225,900) and New York (+123,600). (See table D.)
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