Economy Watch: Employment Stable in Almost All of US

Sixteen states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier and 34 states and D.C. had little or no change, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics latest report.
(Click for interactive map) Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2018
(Click for interactive map) Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2018

Unemployment rates were lower in January in six states and the District of Columbia, and stable in 44 states, compared with the month before, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Monday. Sixteen states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier and 34 states and D.C. had little or no change

Payroll employment increased in three states in January 2018, decreased in one state, and was essentially unchanged in 46 states and D.C. Compared with a year ago, 21 states added payroll jobs and 29 states and the District were unchanged, the bureau noted.

Hawaii had the lowest unemployment rate among the states in January, coming in at 2.1 percent. Alaska had the highest jobless rate, at 7.3 percent. All together, 18 states had unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 4.1 percent, while nine states and D.C. had higher rates, and 23 states had rates not much different from that of the nation.

The rates in Alabama (3.7 percent), California (4.4 percent), Maine (3.0 percent), and Mississippi (4.6 percent) set new series lows, according to the BLS, which began the current series in 1976. So those states have not enjoyed unemployment so low in at least 42 years.