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Jobless rates down in 30 states, up in 8 in Mar.; payroll jobs up in 29 states, down in 20

REGIONAL AND STATE EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT -- MARCH 2012


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, nonfarm 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).
Arizona experienced the largest over-the-month percentage increase in
employment (+0.6 percent), followed by the District of Columbia and
Nebraska (+0.5 percent each). Maine experienced the largest over-the-month
percentage decline in employment (-0.5 percent), followed by Wyoming
(-0.3 percent). Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 45 states
and the District of Columbia, decreased in 4 states, and was unchanged in
Alabama. The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in North
Dakota (+6.5 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease in
employment occurred in Wisconsin (-0.9 percent).

Regional Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

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). Over the
year, the South registered the largest of three measurable rate changes
(-1.1 percentage points), followed by the Midwest (-1.0 point) and West
(-0.9 point). (See table 1.)

Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific continued to report
the highest jobless rate, 10.2 percent in March. The West North Central
again registered the lowest rate, 5.9 percent. Two divisions experienced
statistically significant unemployment rate changes over the month: the
East North Central and South Atlantic (-0.2 percentage point each). Eight
divisions had measurable unemployment rate changes from a year earlier,
all of which were decreases. The largest of these occurred in the East
South Central (-1.5 percentage points).

State Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

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.
(See tables A and 3.)

Mississippi and Oklahoma experienced the largest over-the-month unemployment
rate declines in March (-0.6 percentage point each). Five other states
also had statistically significant rate decreases: Florida and Massachusetts
(-0.4 percentage point each), Nevada (-0.3 point), North Carolina 
(-0.2 point), and Vermont (-0.1 point). The remaining 43 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.

Alabama and Michigan registered the largest jobless rate decreases from
March 2011 (-2.0 percentage points each). Sixteen additional states
reported smaller but also statistically significant declines over the
year. The remaining 32 states and the District of Columbia recorded
unemployment rates that were not appreciably different from those of a
year earlier. (See table B.)

Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Seasonally Adjusted)

In March 2012, four states and the district recorded statistically
significant over-the-month changes in employment, all of which were
increases. The largest statistically significant job gains occurred in
New York (+19,100), Arizona (+13,500), and Massachusetts (+8,700).
(See tables C and 5.)

Over the year, 27 states and the district experienced statistically
significant increases in employment. The largest increase occurred
in Texas (+245,700), followed by California (+181,000) and New York 
(+155,300). Wisconsin was the only state to show a statistically
significant decrease (-23,900). (See table D.)

_____________
The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for
March is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 2, 2012, at 10:00
a.m. (EDT). The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news
release for April is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 18, 2012,
at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).



Table A.  States with unemployment rates significantly different
from that of the U.S., March 2012, seasonally adjusted
--------------------------------------------------------------
                State                |          Rate(p)
--------------------------------------------------------------
United States (1) ...................|           8.2
                                     |
Alaska ..............................|           7.0
California ..........................|          11.0
Delaware ............................|           6.9
District of Columbia ................|           9.8
Florida .............................|           9.0
Georgia .............................|           9.0
Hawaii ..............................|           6.4
Iowa ................................|           5.2
Kansas ..............................|           6.2
Maine ...............................|           7.2
                                     |
Maryland ............................|           6.6
Massachusetts .......................|           6.5
Minnesota ...........................|           5.8
Montana .............................|           6.2
Nebraska ............................|           4.0
Nevada ..............................|          12.0
New Hampshire .......................|           5.2
New Jersey ..........................|           9.0
North Carolina ......................|           9.7
North Dakota ........................|           3.0
                                     |
Oklahoma ............................|           5.4
Pennsylvania ........................|           7.5
Rhode Island ........................|          11.1
South Dakota ........................|           4.3
Texas ...............................|           7.0
Utah ................................|           5.8
Vermont .............................|           4.8
Virginia ............................|           5.6
West Virginia .......................|           6.9
Wisconsin ...........................|           6.8
Wyoming .............................|           5.3
--------------------------------------------------------------
   1 Data are not preliminary.
   p = preliminary.



Table B.  States with statistically significant unemployment rate changes
from March 2011 to March 2012, seasonally adjusted
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                |          Rate         |
                                |-----------|-----------| Over-the-year
             State              |   March   |   March   |   change(p)
                                |    2011   |  2012(p)  |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama ........................|     9.3   |     7.3   |      -2.0
California .....................|    11.9   |    11.0   |       -.9
Connecticut ....................|     9.1   |     7.7   |      -1.4
Florida ........................|    10.7   |     9.0   |      -1.7
Georgia ........................|     9.8   |     9.0   |       -.8
Michigan .......................|    10.5   |     8.5   |      -2.0
Minnesota ......................|     6.6   |     5.8   |       -.8
Missouri .......................|     8.7   |     7.4   |      -1.3
Nevada .........................|    13.6   |    12.0   |      -1.6
Ohio ...........................|     8.8   |     7.5   |      -1.3
                                |           |           |
South Carolina .................|    10.4   |     8.9   |      -1.5
South Dakota ...................|     4.9   |     4.3   |       -.6
Tennessee ......................|     9.4   |     7.9   |      -1.5
Texas ..........................|     8.0   |     7.0   |      -1.0
Utah ...........................|     7.1   |     5.8   |      -1.3
Vermont ........................|     5.8   |     4.8   |      -1.0
Washington .....................|     9.4   |     8.3   |      -1.1
Wisconsin ......................|     7.6   |     6.8   |       -.8
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.



Table C.  States with statistically significant employment changes from
February 2012 to March 2012, seasonally adjusted
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              |   February  |   March     | Over-the-month
           State              |     2012    |   2012(p)   |    change(p)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arizona.......................|   2,435,300 |   2,448,800 |      13,500
District of Columbia..........|     734,600 |     738,600 |       4,000
Massachusetts.................|   3,232,900 |   3,241,600 |       8,700
Nebraska......................|     942,500 |     947,100 |       4,600
New York......................|   8,785,600 |   8,804,700 |      19,100
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.



Table D.  States with statistically significant employment changes from
March 2011 to March 2012, seasonally adjusted
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              |   March     |   March     | Over-the-year
           State              |    2011     |   2012(p)   |    change(p)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arizona.......................|   2,399,000 |   2,448,800 |      49,800
California....................|  14,056,300 |  14,237,300 |     181,000
Colorado......................|   2,244,700 |   2,290,500 |      45,800
District of Columbia..........|     725,500 |     738,600 |      13,100
Florida.......................|   7,238,900 |   7,328,700 |      89,800
Georgia.......................|   3,877,000 |   3,908,800 |      31,800
Idaho.........................|     606,700 |     615,700 |       9,000
Indiana.......................|   2,830,800 |   2,867,000 |      36,200
Kansas........................|   1,331,000 |   1,352,500 |      21,500
Kentucky......................|   1,787,700 |   1,821,900 |      34,200
                              |             |             |            
Louisiana.....................|   1,908,100 |   1,952,100 |      44,000
Maryland......................|   2,538,600 |   2,588,200 |      49,600
Massachusetts.................|   3,211,300 |   3,241,600 |      30,300
Michigan......................|   3,925,500 |   3,982,000 |      56,500
Minnesota.....................|   2,673,200 |   2,704,700 |      31,500
New Jersey....................|   3,843,500 |   3,881,800 |      38,300
New York......................|   8,649,400 |   8,804,700 |     155,300
North Carolina................|   3,920,100 |   3,958,900 |      38,800
North Dakota..................|     387,900 |     413,300 |      25,400
Ohio..........................|   5,077,400 |   5,137,000 |      59,600
                              |             |             |            
Oklahoma......................|   1,542,500 |   1,580,100 |      37,600
Pennsylvania..................|   5,682,700 |   5,728,400 |      45,700
Tennessee.....................|   2,647,300 |   2,691,300 |      44,000
Texas.........................|  10,496,000 |  10,741,700 |     245,700
Utah..........................|   1,197,200 |   1,226,200 |      29,000
Virginia......................|   3,674,900 |   3,712,900 |      38,000
Washington....................|   2,806,100 |   2,850,100 |      44,000
West Virginia.................|     751,500 |     761,300 |       9,800
Wisconsin.....................|   2,754,500 |   2,730,600 |     -23,900
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.



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