Regional and State Unemployment (Annual) News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Wednesday, March 4, 2015                        USDL-15-0323

Technical information: (202) 691-6392  •  lausinfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/lau
Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  •  PressOffice@bls.gov


             REGIONAL AND STATE UNEMPLOYMENT -- 2014 ANNUAL AVERAGES 


In 2014, annual average unemployment rates declined in all 50 states and the District
of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment-population
ratios increased in 35 states and the District of Columbia, decreased in 12 states, and
were unchanged in 3 states. The U.S. jobless rate decreased by 1.2 percentage points
to 6.2 percent in 2014, while the national employment-population ratio increased by
0.4 point to 59.0 percent.

Regional Unemployment

All four regions had annual average unemployment rate declines from 2013, with the
Midwest and Northeast having the largest decreases (-1.4 percentage points each). The
Midwest, at 5.8 percent, had the lowest regional unemployment rate in 2014, while the
West, at 6.8 percent, had the highest rate. (See table 1.)

Among the nine geographic divisions, the West North Central had the lowest annual
average unemployment rate, 4.6 percent in 2014. The Pacific had the highest jobless rate,
7.2 percent. All nine divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate declines, the largest
of which occurred in the East North Central (-1.7 percentage points) and Middle Atlantic
(-1.5 points).

  ____________________________________________________________________________________
 |                                                                                    |
 |                 Changes to Local Area Unemployment Statistics Data                 |
 |                                                                                    |
 | All subnational estimates presented in this news release, except those for Puerto  |
 | Rico, were produced using a new generation of time-series models. Information is   |
 | available in the “Report on Revision to State and Area Time-Series Models” on the  |
 | BLS website at www.bls.gov/lau/lauschanges2015.htm.                                |
 |                                                                                    |
 | Effective with this news release, data have been re-estimated back to 1976 for     |
 | regions, divisions, states, and the District of Columbia. The annual average data  |
 | shown in tables 1 and 2 were affected, as were monthly seasonally adjusted and not |
 | seasonally adjusted data.                                                          |
 |____________________________________________________________________________________|


State Unemployment

Annual average unemployment rates decreased from 2013 to 2014 in all 50 states and the
District of Columbia. This was the first year since 1984 in which all states and the
District had over-the-year rate declines. The largest rate decline occurred in Illinois
(-2.0 percentage points), followed by Colorado, North Carolina, and Ohio (-1.8 points
each). Twenty additional states had over-the-year jobless rate decreases of at least
1.0 percentage point.

North Dakota had the lowest annual average unemployment rate (2.8 percent) in 2014.
Nebraska (3.3 percent) and South Dakota (3.4 percent) had the next lowest jobless rates.
Eleven additional states had annual average unemployment rates under 5.0 percent. 
Mississippi and Nevada had the highest jobless rates (7.8 percent each) among the states,
followed by Rhode Island (7.7 percent). The District of Columbia also had a jobless rate
of 7.8 percent.

Regional Employment-Population Ratios

In 2014, all four regions had over-the-year increases in their employment-population
ratios--the proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and
older who are employed. The Midwest had the largest increase (+0.8 percentage point).
The Midwest also had the highest employment-population ratio, 61.3 percent, while the
South had the lowest, 57.9 percent. (See table 2.)

Eight of the 9 geographic divisions had over-the-year increases in their employment-
population ratios, with the largest of these occurring in the East North Central
(+1.0 percentage point). The East South Central had the only ratio decline over the
year (-0.9 percentage point). The West North Central had the highest proportion of
employed persons, 65.3 percent in 2014, while the East South Central had the lowest
proportion, 53.6 percent.

State Employment-Population Ratios

In 2014, Hawaii and Indiana had the largest over-the-year increases in their employment-
population ratios (+1.4 percentage points each), followed by Louisiana (+1.2 points)
and Connecticut (+1.1 points). Sixteen additional states had increases of at least
0.5 percentage point. Mississippi and Tennessee had the largest decreases in their
employment-population ratios (-1.2 percentage points each). Four other states had
declines of at least 0.5 percentage point. 

North Dakota had the highest proportion of employed persons, 70.8 percent in 2014.
Four other states in the West North Central division had the next highest ratios:
Nebraska, 68.9 percent; Iowa, 67.3 percent; Minnesota, 67.0 percent; and South Dakota,
66.9 percent. West Virginia had the lowest employment-population ratio among the states,
49.7 percent. West Virginia has had the lowest employment-population ratio each year
since the series began in 1976. Three states had the lowest employment-population
ratios in their series in 2014: Kentucky, 54.8 percent; Mississippi, 50.1 percent;
and New Mexico, 53.6 percent.

_____________
The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news release for January 2015
is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, March 17, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).
The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for January 2015
is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 20, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).




Technical Note

This release presents labor force and unemployment data for census regions and
divisions and states from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program.
The LAUS program is a federal-state cooperative endeavor.

Concepts

Definitions. The labor force and unemployment data are based on the same concepts
and definitions as those used for the official national estimates obtained from the
Current Population Survey (CPS), a sample survey of households that is conducted for
the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the U.S. Census Bureau. The LAUS program
measures employment and unemployment on a place-of-residence basis. The universe for
each is the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and older. Employed
persons are those who did any work at all for pay or profit in the reference week
(the week including the 12th of the month) or worked 15 hours or more without pay
in a family business or farm, plus those not working who had a job from which they
were temporarily absent, whether or not paid, for such reasons as labor management
dispute, illness, or vacation. Unemployed persons are those who were not employed
during the reference week (based on the definition above), had actively looked 
for a job sometime in the 4-week period ending with the reference week, and were
currently available for work; persons on layoff expecting recall need not be looking
for work to be counted as unemployed. The labor force is the sum of employed and
unemployed persons. The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed expressed as
a percent of the labor force. The employment-population ratio is the proportion of
the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and older that is employed.

Method of estimation. Estimates for 48 of the 50 states, the District of Columbia,
the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale metropolitan division, New York City, and the
balances of California and New York State are produced using estimating equations
based on regression techniques. This method utilizes data from several sources,
including the CPS, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey of nonfarm payroll
employment, and state unemployment insurance (UI) programs. Estimates for the State
of California are derived by summing the estimates for the Los Angeles-Long Beach-
Glendale metropolitan division and the balance of California. Similarly, estimates
for New York State are derived by summing the estimates for New York City and the
balance of New York State. Estimates for all nine census divisions are based on a
similar regression approach that does not incorporate CES or UI data. Estimates for
census regions are obtained by summing the model-based estimates for the component
divisions and then calculating the unemployment rate. Each month, census division
estimates are controlled to national totals; state estimates are then controlled
to their respective division totals. Estimates for Puerto Rico are derived from
a monthly household survey similar to the CPS. A detailed description of the
estimation procedures is available from BLS upon request.

Annual revisions. Labor force and unemployment data for prior years reflect
adjustments made at the end of each year. The adjusted estimates incorporate
updated population controls from the U.S. Census Bureau, any revisions in the
other data sources, and model re-estimation. The population controls (except for
Puerto Rico) reflect extrapolation from the 2010 Census. In most years, historical
data for the most recent 5 years (both seasonally adjusted and not seasonally
adjusted) are revised near the beginning of each calendar year, prior to the 
release of January estimates. Though the labor force estimates typically are
updated for 5 years, the population estimates are adjusted back to the decennial
estimates base (April 2010). With the introduction of a new generation of times-
series models in 2015, historical data were re-estimated back to January 1976 for
regions, divisions, states, the District of Columbia, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-
Glendale metropolitan division, New York City, and the balances of California and
New York states.

Reliability of the estimates

The estimates presented in this release are based on sample surveys, administrative
data, and modeling and, thus, are subject to sampling and other types of errors.
Sampling error is a measure of sampling variability--that is, variation that occurs
by chance because a sample rather than the entire population is surveyed. Survey
data also are subject to nonsampling errors, such as those which can be introduced
into the data collection and processing operations. Estimates not directly derived
from sample surveys are subject to additional errors resulting from the specific
estimation processes used. In table 1, level estimates for states may not sum to
level estimates for regions and divisions because of rounding. Unemployment rates
and employment-population ratios are computed from unrounded levels and, thus, may
differ slightly from rates and ratios computed using the rounded level estimates
displayed in table 1.

Additional information

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals
upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.




Table 1. Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and over by region, division, and state,
2013-14 annual averages

(Numbers in thousands)
                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                     
                                    Population      Civilian labor       Employed         Unemployed     Unemployment                
                                                        force                                                rate      Error range of
  Region, division, and state                                                                                          rate, 2014 (1)
                                                                                                                                     
                                  2013     2014     2013     2014     2013     2014      2013     2014    2013   2014                
                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                     
     United States.............  245,679  247,947  155,389  155,922  143,929  146,305   11,460    9,617    7.4    6.2    6.1   -  6.2
                                                                                                                                     
Northeast......................   44,673   44,875   28,343   28,251   26,221   26,518    2,121    1,733    7.5    6.1    6.0   -  6.3
   New England.................   11,779   11,848    7,735    7,785    7,202    7,327      533      458    6.9    5.9    5.6   -  6.2
      Connecticut..............    2,858    2,867    1,869    1,885    1,724    1,760      145      125    7.7    6.6    6.1   -  7.1
      Maine....................    1,086    1,090      707      699      660      659       47       40    6.6    5.7    5.2   -  6.2
      Massachusetts............    5,401    5,446    3,509    3,557    3,272    3,353      237      205    6.7    5.8    5.2   -  6.3
      New Hampshire............    1,072    1,079      742      741      704      709       38       32    5.1    4.3    3.9   -  4.7
      Rhode Island.............      849      852      557      553      505      511       52       42    9.3    7.7    7.1   -  8.2
      Vermont..................      513      514      351      349      336      335       16       14    4.4    4.1    3.7   -  4.5
                                                                                                                                     
   Middle Atlantic.............   32,894   33,027   20,608   20,466   19,019   19,191    1,589    1,275    7.7    6.2    6.0   -  6.5
      New Jersey...............    7,018    7,057    4,534    4,519    4,164    4,218      370      300    8.2    6.6    6.1   -  7.1
      New York.................   15,693   15,765    9,632    9,569    8,891    8,964      741      605    7.7    6.3    6.0   -  6.7
      Pennsylvania.............   10,183   10,205    6,442    6,378    5,964    6,009      478      370    7.4    5.8    5.4   -  6.2
                                                                                                                                     
Midwest........................   52,605   52,869   34,301   34,443   31,831   32,429    2,471    2,014    7.2    5.8    5.7   -  6.0
   East North Central..........   36,472   36,621   23,286   23,319   21,390   21,817    1,896    1,502    8.1    6.4    6.2   -  6.7
      Illinois.................   10,026   10,053    6,555    6,525    5,961    6,064      594      460    9.1    7.1    6.6   -  7.5
      Indiana..................    5,065    5,097    3,192    3,231    2,947    3,036      245      195    7.7    6.0    5.5   -  6.6
      Michigan.................    7,814    7,846    4,728    4,750    4,306    4,402      422      348    8.9    7.3    6.8   -  7.8
      Ohio.....................    9,056    9,092    5,726    5,719    5,299    5,392      427      328    7.5    5.7    5.3   -  6.2
      Wisconsin................    4,511    4,534    3,085    3,094    2,877    2,924      208      170    6.8    5.5    5.0   -  6.0
                                                                                                                                     
   West North Central..........   16,133   16,248   11,016   11,124   10,441   10,611      575      512    5.2    4.6    4.4   -  4.8
      Iowa.....................    2,405    2,420    1,674    1,705    1,594    1,629       80       75    4.8    4.4    4.0   -  4.9
      Kansas...................    2,185    2,197    1,487    1,500    1,408    1,432       79       68    5.3    4.5    4.0   -  5.1
      Minnesota................    4,225    4,259    2,966    2,974    2,819    2,852      146      122    4.9    4.1    3.7   -  4.5
      Missouri.................    4,693    4,719    3,016    3,058    2,814    2,871      202      187    6.7    6.1    5.6   -  6.7
      Nebraska.................    1,424    1,434    1,022    1,022      983      988       39       34    3.8    3.3    2.9   -  3.7
      North Dakota.............      559      572      407      416      395      405       12       12    2.9    2.8    2.4   -  3.2
      South Dakota.............      641      647      445      448      428      433       17       15    3.8    3.4    3.0   -  3.8
                                                                                                                                     
South..........................   91,329   92,479   56,781   56,996   52,792   53,580    3,989    3,416    7.0    6.0    5.9   -  6.1
   South Atlantic..............   48,388   49,000   30,078   30,240   27,897   28,359    2,181    1,881    7.3    6.2    6.0   -  6.4
      Delaware.................      728      738      442      452      413      426       30       26    6.7    5.7    5.2   -  6.2
      District of Columbia.....      537      543      373      377      342      348       32       29    8.5    7.8    7.2   -  8.4
      Florida..................   15,715   15,978    9,473    9,638    8,783    9,034      690      603    7.3    6.3    5.9   -  6.6
      Georgia..................    7,575    7,669    4,759    4,757    4,368    4,414      391      342    8.2    7.2    6.6   -  7.8
      Maryland.................    4,649    4,684    3,124    3,111    2,917    2,930      207      181    6.6    5.8    5.4   -  6.3
      North Carolina...........    7,595    7,690    4,681    4,656    4,310    4,370      370      286    7.9    6.1    5.6   -  6.7
      South Carolina...........    3,708    3,762    2,180    2,198    2,013    2,056      167      141    7.6    6.4    5.8   -  7.0
      Virginia.................    6,394    6,451    4,246    4,261    4,005    4,041      241      220    5.7    5.2    4.7   -  5.6
      West Virginia............    1,486    1,485      800      790      746      739       54       52    6.7    6.5    5.8   -  7.2
                                                                                                                                     
   East South Central..........   14,506   14,602    8,581    8,403    7,909    7,830      672      573    7.8    6.8    6.5   -  7.2
      Alabama..................    3,767    3,786    2,169    2,150    2,012    2,004      157      146    7.2    6.8    6.0   -  7.6
      Kentucky.................    3,406    3,425    2,057    2,005    1,892    1,875      165      130    8.0    6.5    5.8   -  7.2
      Mississippi..............    2,265    2,274    1,274    1,236    1,163    1,140      111       96    8.7    7.8    6.9   -  8.7
      Tennessee................    5,068    5,117    3,082    3,011    2,842    2,811      239      201    7.8    6.7    6.0   -  7.3
                                                                                                                                     
   West South Central..........   28,435   28,877   18,122   18,353   16,987   17,392    1,135      962    6.3    5.2    5.0   -  5.5
      Arkansas.................    2,275    2,285    1,307    1,301    1,211    1,221       96       80    7.4    6.1    5.4   -  6.9
      Louisiana................    3,528    3,551    2,107    2,157    1,965    2,020      142      138    6.7    6.4    5.6   -  7.1
      Oklahoma.................    2,922    2,946    1,803    1,784    1,707    1,704       96       80    5.3    4.5    3.9   -  5.1
      Texas....................   19,711   20,095   12,905   13,112   12,104   12,448      801      664    6.2    5.1    4.8   -  5.3
                                                                                                                                     
West...........................   57,430   58,201   36,189   36,529   33,293   34,057    2,896    2,473    8.0    6.8    6.6   -  6.9
   Mountain....................   17,448   17,723   11,130   11,252   10,352   10,601      777      652    7.0    5.8    5.5   -  6.0
      Arizona..................    5,087    5,176    3,041    3,091    2,804    2,878      237      213    7.8    6.9    6.2   -  7.6
      Colorado.................    4,069    4,145    2,780    2,817    2,591    2,676      189      141    6.8    5.0    4.6   -  5.5
      Idaho....................    1,210    1,228      771      777      724      740       47       37    6.1    4.8    4.2   -  5.4
      Montana..................      800      808      514      516      486      492       28       24    5.4    4.7    4.1   -  5.3
      Nevada...................    2,169    2,210    1,384    1,395    1,252    1,286      132      108    9.5    7.8    7.1   -  8.4
      New Mexico...............    1,597    1,601      923      918      859      858       64       60    6.9    6.5    5.8   -  7.3
      Utah.....................    2,068    2,104    1,410    1,431    1,344    1,377       66       54    4.7    3.8    3.3   -  4.3
      Wyoming..................      449      451      307      307      292      294       15       13    4.7    4.3    3.8   -  4.8
                                                                                                                                     
   Pacific.....................   39,982   40,478   25,059   25,277   22,941   23,456    2,119    1,821    8.5    7.2    7.0   -  7.4
      Alaska...................      539      541      366      367      340      342       25       25    6.9    6.8    5.7   -  7.9
      California...............   29,788   30,158   18,672   18,811   17,003   17,397    1,669    1,414    8.9    7.5    7.3   -  7.8
      Hawaii...................    1,075    1,084      651      668      620      639       32       29    4.8    4.4    3.9   -  4.8
      Oregon...................    3,132    3,171    1,911    1,942    1,761    1,807      150      135    7.9    6.9    6.3   -  7.6
      Washington...............    5,447    5,524    3,460    3,488    3,217    3,270      243      218    7.0    6.2    5.7   -  6.8
                                                                                                                                     
Puerto Rico....................    2,897    2,875    1,189    1,152    1,019      992      170      160   14.3   13.9         NA     

   1 Error ranges are shown at the 90-percent confidence level and are based on unrounded data.
   NA = Data not available.
   NOTE: Data refer to place of residence. Unemployment rates are in percent and are based on unrounded levels. Data for subnational
areas reflect revised population controls and model reestimation. As a result, they will not add to U.S. totals. Data for Puerto Rico
are derived from a monthly household survey similar to the Current Population Survey.




Table 2. Employment-population ratios of persons 16 years of age and over by region,
division, and state, 2013-14 annual averages

(Percent)
                                                                                     
                                                                                     
                                   Employment-population                             
                                         ratio (1)        Over-the-    Error range of
  Region, division, and state                               year          ratio,     
                                                           change        2014 (2)    
                                      2013       2014                                
                                                                                     
                                                                                     
     United States.............       58.6       59.0        0.4        58.8  -  59.2
                                                                                     
Northeast......................       58.7       59.1         .4        58.6  -  59.5
   New England.................       61.1       61.8         .7        61.1  -  62.6
      Connecticut..............       60.3       61.4        1.1        60.1  -  62.7
      Maine....................       60.8       60.5        -.3        59.1  -  61.8
      Massachusetts............       60.6       61.6        1.0        60.1  -  63.0
      New Hampshire............       65.7       65.7         .0        64.6  -  66.9
      Rhode Island.............       59.5       59.9         .4        58.8  -  61.1
      Vermont..................       65.4       65.0        -.4        63.7  -  66.4
                                                                                     
   Middle Atlantic.............       57.8       58.1         .3        57.6  -  58.7
      New Jersey...............       59.3       59.8         .5        58.7  -  60.9
      New York.................       56.7       56.9         .2        56.0  -  57.7
      Pennsylvania.............       58.6       58.9         .3        58.0  -  59.8
                                                                                     
Midwest........................       60.5       61.3         .8        60.9  -  61.8
   East North Central..........       58.6       59.6        1.0        59.0  -  60.1
      Illinois.................       59.5       60.3         .8        59.3  -  61.3
      Indiana..................       58.2       59.6        1.4        58.1  -  61.0
      Michigan.................       55.1       56.1        1.0        54.9  -  57.3
      Ohio.....................       58.5       59.3         .8        58.1  -  60.5
      Wisconsin................       63.8       64.5         .7        63.0  -  66.0
                                                                                     
   West North Central..........       64.7       65.3         .6        64.7  -  66.0
      Iowa.....................       66.3       67.3        1.0        66.0  -  68.7
      Kansas...................       64.4       65.2         .8        63.7  -  66.7
      Minnesota................       66.7       67.0         .3        65.7  -  68.3
      Missouri.................       60.0       60.8         .8        59.2  -  62.4
      Nebraska.................       69.1       68.9        -.2        67.6  -  70.2
      North Dakota.............       70.6       70.8         .2        69.1  -  72.6
      South Dakota.............       66.8       66.9         .1        65.4  -  68.4
                                                                                     
South..........................       57.8       57.9         .1        57.6  -  58.3
   South Atlantic..............       57.7       57.9         .2        57.4  -  58.3
      Delaware.................       56.7       57.7        1.0        56.4  -  59.0
      District of Columbia.....       63.7       64.0         .3        62.8  -  65.3
      Florida..................       55.9       56.5         .6        55.6  -  57.5
      Georgia..................       57.7       57.6        -.1        56.4  -  58.7
      Maryland.................       62.7       62.6        -.1        61.5  -  63.7
      North Carolina...........       56.8       56.8         .0        55.6  -  58.0
      South Carolina...........       54.3       54.7         .4        53.2  -  56.1
      Virginia.................       62.6       62.6         .0        61.2  -  64.1
      West Virginia............       50.2       49.7        -.5        47.7  -  51.8
                                                                                     
   East South Central..........       54.5       53.6        -.9        52.7  -  54.5
      Alabama..................       53.4       52.9        -.5        51.1  -  54.8
      Kentucky.................       55.5       54.8        -.7        52.9  -  56.6
      Mississippi..............       51.3       50.1       -1.2        48.3  -  52.0
      Tennessee................       56.1       54.9       -1.2        53.3  -  56.5
                                                                                     
   West South Central..........       59.7       60.2         .5        59.5  -  60.9
      Arkansas.................       53.2       53.4         .2        51.8  -  55.0
      Louisiana................       55.7       56.9        1.2        55.2  -  58.5
      Oklahoma.................       58.4       57.8        -.6        56.1  -  59.5
      Texas....................       61.4       61.9         .5        61.1  -  62.8
                                                                                     
West...........................       58.0       58.5         .5        58.2  -  58.9
   Mountain....................       59.3       59.8         .5        59.1  -  60.5
      Arizona..................       55.1       55.6         .5        54.0  -  57.2
      Colorado.................       63.7       64.6         .9        63.0  -  66.1
      Idaho....................       59.9       60.2         .3        58.5  -  62.0
      Montana..................       60.7       60.9         .2        59.0  -  62.8
      Nevada...................       57.8       58.2         .4        56.7  -  59.7
      New Mexico...............       53.8       53.6        -.2        51.8  -  55.4
      Utah.....................       65.0       65.4         .4        63.8  -  67.1
      Wyoming..................       65.0       65.1         .1        63.4  -  66.8
                                                                                     
   Pacific.....................       57.4       57.9         .5        57.5  -  58.4
      Alaska...................       63.1       63.3         .2        61.1  -  65.5
      California...............       57.1       57.7         .6        57.2  -  58.2
      Hawaii...................       57.6       59.0        1.4        57.7  -  60.2
      Oregon...................       56.2       57.0         .8        55.6  -  58.4
      Washington...............       59.1       59.2         .1        58.1  -  60.3
                                                                                     
Puerto Rico....................       35.2       34.5        -.7               NA    

   1 Employment as a percent of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of
age and over.
   2 Error ranges are shown at the 90-percent confidence level and are based on
unrounded data.
   NA = Data not available.
   NOTE: Data refer to place of residence. Employment-population ratios are based on
unrounded levels. Data for subnational areas reflect revised population controls and
model reestimation. Data for Puerto Rico are derived from a monthly household survey
similar to the Current Population Survey.




Last Modified Date: March 04, 2015