Year to year, unemployment rates in 41 states and the District of Columbia decreased.
Unemployment rates fell in 25 states in the United States in May, while 17 states posted unemployment rate increases and eight states and the District of Columbia reported no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.
Year to year, unemployment rates in 41 states and the District of Columbia decreased, while four states reported increases, and five experienced no change. The national jobless rate remained at 7.6 percent in May, up from 7.5 percent in April, but 0.6 percentage point lower than May 2012.
The unemployment rate in the West continues to top the national average at 7.8 percent, down from 8 percent in April. The South and the Midwest had the lowest unemployment rates at 7.2 each. Over the-year, the Northeast, West and South each posted “significant” unemployment rate decreases, the BLS reported.
Among the individual states, Nevada continues to have the highest unemployment rate at 9.5 percent, down from 9.6 the previous month, followed by Illinois and Mississippi (9.1 percent each. North Dakota can once again claim the nation’s lowest unemployment rate at 3.2 percent, down from 3.3 percent in May. In total, 21 states, up from 19 in April, had jobless rates in April that were significantly lower than the national average. Eight states and the District of Columbia had “measurably” higher rates, while 21 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the rest of the nation.
Six states that reported “statistically significant” over-the-month unemployment rate changes in May, of which four (California, West Virginia, Hawaii and New York) were declines and two (Tennessee and Kansas) were increases.
Payrolls in May increased in 7 states. Ohio added the most job gains (32,000), followed by Michigan (18,100) and New Jersey (14,300). South Carolina lost 7,700 jobs in May, followed by Arkansas (5,900) and Alaska (4,200). Over the year, 31 states added jobs. Texas reported the most job gains (324,000), followed by California (252,100) and Florida (122,500).
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.