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Jobless rates down in 37 states, up in 3 in Dec.; payroll jobs up in 25 states, down in 24

In December, 37 states and the District of Columbia reported over-the-month unemployment rate decreases, 3 had increases, and 10 had no change. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 25 states and the district, decreased in 24 states, and was unchanged in 1 state.
   REGIONAL AND STATE EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT -- DECEMBER 2011

Regional and state unemployment rates were slightly lower in December. Thirty-seven
states and the District of Columbia recorded unemployment rate decreases, 3 states posted
rate increases, and 10 states had no rate change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Forty-six states registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier,
while four states and the District of Columbia experienced increases. The national jobless
rate, 8.5 percent, continued to trend down in December and was 0.9 percentage point lower
than in December 2010.

In December, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 25 states and the District of Columbia,
decreased in 24 states, and was unchanged in 1 state. The largest over-the-month increase
in employment occurred in Texas (+20,200), followed by Indiana (+15,100) and California
(+10,700). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in New York (-14,000),
followed by Missouri (-11,800) and Washington (-11,600). South Dakota experienced the
largest over-the-month percentage increase in employment (+1.1 percent), followed by North
Dakota (+0.9 percent) and Indiana, Kentucky, and Utah (+0.5 percent each). Nevada experienced
the largest over-the-month percentage decline in employment (-0.9 percent), followed by
Alaska (-0.5 percent) and Maine, Missouri, and Washington (-0.4 percent each). Over the year,
nonfarm employment increased in 46 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in
4 states. The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in North Dakota
(+5.7 percent), followed by Utah (+3.0 percent) and Oklahoma (+2.7 percent). The largest
over-the-year percentage decrease in employment occurred in Delaware (-0.7 percent),
followed by Alaska (-0.5 percent) and Georgia (-0.4 percent).

Regional Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

The West continued to record the highest regional unemployment rate in December, 9.7 percent,
while the Midwest and Northeast reported the lowest rates, 7.9 percent each. Three regions
experienced statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate changes: the
Midwest and South (-0.3 percentage point each) and the West (-0.2 point). Over the year,
all four regions registered significant rate decreases, the largest of which was in the
West (-1.3 percentage points). (See table 1.)

Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific continued to report the highest jobless
rate, 10.4 percent in December. The West North Central again registered the lowest rate,
6.1 percent. Six divisions experienced statistically significant unemployment rate decreases
over the month. The largest of these occurred in the East South Central (-0.4 percentage
point). Seven divisions recorded significant rate declines from a year earlier, the largest
of which was in the Pacific (-1.3 percentage points). No division reported an unemployment
rate increase from December 2010.

State Unemployment (Seasonally Adjusted)

Nevada continued to record the highest unemployment rate among the states, 12.6 percent in
December. California posted the next highest rate, 11.1 percent. North Dakota again
registered the lowest jobless rate, 3.3 percent, followed by Nebraska and South Dakota,
4.1 and 4.2 percent, respectively. Twenty-four states reported jobless rates significantly
lower than the U.S. figure of 8.5 percent, 8 states and the District of Columbia had
measurably higher rates, and 18 states had rates that were not appreciably different
from that of the nation. (See tables A and 3.)

Eighteen states experienced statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate declines
in December. The largest of these were in Alabama (-0.6 percentage point) and Michigan (-0.5
point). The remaining 32 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. (See table B.)

Nevada registered the largest jobless rate decrease from December 2010 (-2.3 percentage points).
Twenty-one additional states reported smaller but also statistically significant decreases
over the year. The remaining 28 states and the District of Columbia recorded unemployment
rates that were not appreciably different from those of a year earlier. (See table C.)

Nonfarm Payroll Employment (Seasonally Adjusted)

In December, eight states recorded statistically significant changes in employment, five of which
were increases. The statistically significant job gains occurred in Indiana (+15,100), Kentucky
(+8,400), Utah (+6,400), South Dakota (+4,600), and North Dakota (+3,800). The statistically
significant declines in employment occurred in Missouri (-11,800), Washington (-11,600),
and Nevada (-9,800). (See tables D and 5.)

Over the year, 28 states experienced statistically significant changes in employment, all of
which were increases. The largest increase occurred in California (+263,200), followed by
Texas (+204,500) and Florida (+113,900). (See table E.)

_____________
The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for December 2011 is scheduled
to be released on Wednesday, February 1, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. (EST). The Regional and State
Unemployment 2011 Annual Averages news release is scheduled to be released on Wednesday,
February 29, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. (EST). The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment
news release for January 2012 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, March 13, 2012,
at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).
                                   
    __________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                  |
   |   Upcoming Changes to Local Area Unemployment Statistics Data    |
   |                                                                  |
   |Effective with the release of 2011 annual average estimates on    |
   |February 29, the labor force data for regions, divisions, states, |
   |the District of Columbia, and the modeled substate areas presented|
   |in tables 1-4 of this news release will be revised to incorporate |
   |updated inputs, new population controls, reestimation of models,  |
   |and adjustment to new division and national control totals.       |
   |Revised seasonal adjustment factors will be applied to data in    |
   |tables 1 and 3. Both not seasonally adjusted and seasonally       |
   |adjusted data are subject to revision back to 2007. The new       |
   |population controls will reflect, for the first time, results     |
   |from the 2010 Census.                                             |
   |__________________________________________________________________|
   
   
   
    _________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                 |
   |    Upcoming Changes to Current Employment Statistics Data       |
   |                                                                 |
   |Effective with the release of January 2012 estimates on March 13,|
   |all nonfarm payroll employment estimates for states and areas    |
   |presented in tables 5 and 6 of this news release will be adjusted|
   |to 2011 benchmark levels. Seasonally adjusted series will be     |
   |subject to revision from 1990 forward. Not seasonally adjusted   |
   |payroll data back to April 2010 will be subject to revision.     |
   |_________________________________________________________________|
   
 

Table A.  States with unemployment rates significantly differ-
ent from that of the U.S., December 2011, seasonally adjusted 
--------------------------------------------------------------
                State                |          Rate(p)       
--------------------------------------------------------------
United States (1) ...................|           8.5          
                                     |                        
Alaska ..............................|           7.3          
California ..........................|          11.1          
Delaware ............................|           7.4          
District of Columbia ................|          10.4          
Florida .............................|           9.9          
Georgia .............................|           9.7          
Hawaii ..............................|           6.6          
Illinois ............................|           9.8          
Iowa ................................|           5.6          
Kansas ..............................|           6.3          
                                     |                        
Louisiana ...........................|           6.8          
Maine ...............................|           7.0          
Maryland ............................|           6.7          
Massachusetts .......................|           6.8          
Minnesota ...........................|           5.7          
Mississippi .........................|          10.4          
Montana .............................|           6.8          
Nebraska ............................|           4.1          
Nevada ..............................|          12.6          
New Hampshire .......................|           5.1          
                                     |                        
New Mexico ..........................|           6.6          
North Carolina ......................|           9.9          
North Dakota ........................|           3.3          
Oklahoma ............................|           6.1          
Pennsylvania ........................|           7.6          
Rhode Island ........................|          10.8          
South Dakota ........................|           4.2          
Texas ...............................|           7.8          
Utah ................................|           6.0          
Vermont .............................|           5.1          
                                     |                        
Virginia ............................|           6.2          
Wisconsin ...........................|           7.1          
Wyoming .............................|           5.8          
--------------------------------------------------------------
   1 Data are not preliminary.
   p = preliminary.



Table B.  States with statistically significant unemployment rate changes
from November 2011 to December 2011, seasonally adjusted
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                |          Rate         |                
                                |-----------|-----------| Over-the-month 
             State              |  November |  December |   change(p) 
                                |    2011   |  2011(p)  |                
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama ........................|     8.7   |     8.1   |      -0.6      
Arkansas .......................|     7.9   |     7.7   |       -.2      
California .....................|    11.3   |    11.1   |       -.2      
Florida ........................|    10.0   |     9.9   |       -.1      
Kansas .........................|     6.5   |     6.3   |       -.2      
Maryland .......................|     6.9   |     6.7   |       -.2      
Michigan .......................|     9.8   |     9.3   |       -.5      
Minnesota ......................|     5.9   |     5.7   |       -.2      
Montana ........................|     7.1   |     6.8   |       -.3      
Ohio ...........................|     8.5   |     8.1   |       -.4      
                                |           |           |                
Pennsylvania ...................|     7.9   |     7.6   |       -.3      
South Carolina .................|     9.9   |     9.5   |       -.4      
Tennessee ......................|     9.1   |     8.7   |       -.4      
Texas ..........................|     8.1   |     7.8   |       -.3      
Utah ...........................|     6.4   |     6.0   |       -.4      
Vermont ........................|     5.3   |     5.1   |       -.2      
Washington .....................|     8.7   |     8.5   |       -.2      
Wisconsin ......................|     7.3   |     7.1   |       -.2      
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.



Table C.  States with statistically significant unemployment rate changes
from December 2010 to December 2011, seasonally adjusted
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                |          Rate         |                
                                |-----------|-----------| Over-the-year  
             State              |  December |  December |   change(p) 
                                |    2010   |  2011(p)  |                
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
California .....................|    12.5   |    11.1   |      -1.4      
Colorado .......................|     8.9   |     7.9   |      -1.0      
Delaware .......................|     8.5   |     7.4   |      -1.1      
Florida ........................|    12.0   |     9.9   |      -2.1      
Idaho ..........................|     9.7   |     8.4   |      -1.3      
Kentucky .......................|    10.3   |     9.1   |      -1.2      
Maryland .......................|     7.4   |     6.7   |       -.7      
Massachusetts ..................|     8.3   |     6.8   |      -1.5      
Michigan .......................|    11.1   |     9.3   |      -1.8      
Minnesota ......................|     6.9   |     5.7   |      -1.2      
                                |           |           |                
Missouri .......................|     9.6   |     8.0   |      -1.6      
Nevada .........................|    14.9   |    12.6   |      -2.3      
New Mexico .....................|     8.6   |     6.6   |      -2.0      
North Dakota ...................|     3.8   |     3.3   |       -.5      
Ohio ...........................|     9.5   |     8.1   |      -1.4      
Oregon .........................|    10.6   |     8.9   |      -1.7      
Pennsylvania ...................|     8.5   |     7.6   |       -.9      
South Carolina .................|    10.9   |     9.5   |      -1.4      
Texas ..........................|     8.3   |     7.8   |       -.5      
Utah ...........................|     7.5   |     6.0   |      -1.5      
Vermont ........................|     5.8   |     5.1   |       -.7      
West Virginia ..................|     9.7   |     7.9   |      -1.8      
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.



Table D.  States with statistically significant employment changes from
November 2011 to December 2011, seasonally adjusted
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              |   November  |   December  | Over-the-month
           State              |     2011    |     2011(p) |    change(p)  
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Indiana.......................|   2,793,800 |   2,808,900 |      15,100   
Kentucky......................|   1,800,300 |   1,808,700 |       8,400   
Missouri......................|   2,648,200 |   2,636,400 |     -11,800   
Nevada........................|   1,126,600 |   1,116,800 |      -9,800   
North Dakota..................|     400,500 |     404,300 |       3,800   
South Dakota..................|     406,900 |     411,500 |       4,600   
Utah..........................|   1,215,000 |   1,221,400 |       6,400   
Washington....................|   2,833,600 |   2,822,000 |     -11,600   
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.



Table E.  States with statistically significant employment changes from
December 2010 to December 2011, seasonally adjusted
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              |   December  |   December  | Over-the-year
           State              |     2010    |     2011(p) |    change(p)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arizona.......................|   2,375,300 |   2,412,600 |      37,300
California....................|  13,935,800 |  14,199,000 |     263,200
Colorado......................|   2,221,200 |   2,244,800 |      23,600
Florida.......................|   7,177,600 |   7,291,500 |     113,900
Idaho.........................|     604,000 |     612,100 |       8,100
Illinois......................|   5,623,800 |   5,676,400 |      52,600
Kentucky......................|   1,777,700 |   1,808,700 |      31,000
Louisiana.....................|   1,890,400 |   1,938,000 |      47,600
Massachusetts.................|   3,193,800 |   3,234,500 |      40,700
Michigan......................|   3,868,100 |   3,934,600 |      66,500
                              |             |             |            
Minnesota.....................|   2,640,600 |   2,666,900 |      26,300
Nebraska......................|     943,700 |     956,800 |      13,100
New Jersey....................|   3,844,700 |   3,881,100 |      36,400
New York......................|   8,557,900 |   8,644,400 |      86,500
North Dakota..................|     382,400 |     404,300 |      21,900
Ohio..........................|   5,034,200 |   5,106,600 |      72,400
Oklahoma......................|   1,531,200 |   1,572,800 |      41,600
Oregon........................|   1,608,500 |   1,626,300 |      17,800
Pennsylvania..................|   5,639,900 |   5,699,100 |      59,200
South Dakota..................|     404,800 |     411,500 |       6,700
                              |             |             |            
Tennessee.....................|   2,616,900 |   2,648,000 |      31,100
Texas.........................|  10,444,700 |  10,649,200 |     204,500
Utah..........................|   1,185,400 |   1,221,400 |      36,000
Vermont.......................|     298,600 |     303,000 |       4,400
Virginia......................|   3,626,500 |   3,663,100 |      36,600
Washington....................|   2,781,600 |   2,822,000 |      40,400
West Virginia.................|     744,500 |     754,500 |      10,000
Wyoming.......................|     284,300 |     290,700 |       6,400
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
   p = preliminary.



 

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