The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today released its data on state and regional unemployment for May. Compared with April data, unemployment rates fell in 25 states , while 17 states posted higher unemployment rates and 8 and the District of Columbia were unchanged.
Compared with May 2012, the data is somewhat better. In the month, 41 states and the District of Columbia showed a drop in unemployment rates, while 7 states posted gains and 5 states showed no change. The good news is that the national unemployment rate has fallen from 8.2% in May 2012 to 7.6% this past May.
Month-over-month job gains were highest in Ohio, which added 32,100 jobs in May. Texas added 19,500 jobs in May and Michigan added 18,100. The largest job losses compared with April data occurred in Pennsylvania, which lost 9,200 jobs, South Carolina, down 7,700, and Florida, down 6,200 jobs.
Year-over-year, the largest percentage rises in employment occurred in North Dakota (3.2%) and Texas (3%). The largest percentage rises in unemployment came in Alaska (1.3%) and Wyoming (0.6%). Over the last 12 months, 48 states and the District of Columbia have added jobs, while job losses have piled up in just 2 states.
Nevada had the highest unemployment rate among the states in May (9.5%). The next highest rates were in Illinois and Mississippi (9.1% in each). North Dakota continues to lead the country with an unemployment rate of just 3.2%.
The unemployment rate in California was down 2.1% year-over-year in May, while Nevada's unemployment rate fell 2% over the 12 month period. Nevada's May unemployment rate of 9.5% is the highest in the nation.
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