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15-614-BOS
Monday, April 13, 2015

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New England and State Unemployment — February 2015

The New England unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.3 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that New England’s jobless rate declined from a year ago when it was 6.3 percent. The national jobless rate edged down to 5.5 percent from January and was 1.2 percentage points lower than in February 2014. (See chart 1.)

New England is 1 of 9 geographic divisions nationwide. Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific had the highest jobless rate, 6.5 percent in February. The West North Central division had the lowest unemployment rate at 4.2 percent. All nine divisions had statistically significant rate declines from a year earlier.

 Chart 1. Unemployment rates for the United States and New England, February 2012 to February 2015, seasonally adjusted

 

In February, 4 of the 6 New England states had jobless rates that were significantly different from that of the United States. New Hampshire and Vermont (3.9 percent each) had significantly lower unemployment rates and were among 19 states in the country to do so. In contrast, Connecticut (6.4 percent) and Rhode Island (6.3 percent) were among the 13 states and the District of Columbia with unemployment rates measurably higher than the national average. The remaining 18 states had unemployment rates not appreciably different from that of the nation.

Maine and Vermont (-0.2 percentage point each) had statistically significant unemployment rate changes over the month. Nationwide, eight other states had significant rate declines from January. The remaining 40 states and the District of Columbia reported unemployment 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.

Over the year, five New England states had statistically significant unemployment rate decreases. Rhode Island had the largest decline (-2.1 percentage points) and was tied with Kentucky for the largest rate decline nationwide. Massachusetts (-1.1 percentage points), Maine (-0.9 point), New Hampshire (-0.7 point), and Connecticut (-0.6 point) also had jobless rate decreases from one year ago. Across the country, 37 additional states reported statistically significant unemployment rate declines from February 2014. Three states had statistically significant over-the-year rate increases. The remaining five states, including Vermont, and the District of Columbia had unemployment rates that were not appreciably different from a year ago.

The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news release for March 2015 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).).


Technical Note

This release presents civilian labor force and unemployment data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program. Estimates for the U.S. are obtained directly from the CPS, which is a sample survey of approximately 60,000 households nationwide that is conducted for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the Census Bureau. The LAUS program produces data for subnational areas, including the nine geographic divisions (New England, Middle Atlantic, South Atlantic, East South Central, West South Central, East North Central, West North Central, Mountain, and Pacific) and the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The LAUS data for geographic divisions and states are model-based. The models for geographic divisions use inputs from the CPS only, while the models for the states and the District of Columbia use inputs from the CPS in conjunction with estimates of nonfarm payroll employment from the Current Employment Statistics survey and counts of unemployment insurance claimants from the state workforce agencies. Each month, not-seasonally-adjusted estimates for geographic divisions are controlled to the national totals from the CPS, and state estimates are then controlled to the estimates for their divisions. Data for all divisions, as well as the 50 states and the District of Columbia, are available in the Regional and State Employment and Unemployment release www.bls.gov/lau/home.htm#news issued monthly by BLS, while national statistics are highlighted in the Employment Situation www.bls.gov/cps/home.htm#news.

Labor force and unemployment data for prior years reflect adjustments made at the end of each year.  The adjusted estimates reflect updated population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, any revisions in the other data sources, and model re-estimation. In most years, historical data for the most recent five years (both seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted) are revised near the beginning of each calendar year, prior to or coincident with the release of January estimates.

Model-based error measures for seasonally adjusted data and for over-the-month and over-the-year changes are available online at www.bls.gov/lau/lastderr.htm. BLS uses a 90-percent confidence level in determining whether changes in LAUS unemployment rates are statistically significant. The average magnitude of the current year over-the-month change in a state unemployment rate that is required for statistical significance at the 90-percent confidence level is just over 0.2 percentage point; the average amount of the current over-the-year change in a state rate for significance is about 0.9 point. More details can be found on the website. Measures of nonsampling error are not available.

This information will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request.  Voice phone: (202) 691-5200, Federal Relay Services: (800)-877-8339.

 

Table 1. Labor force status for the United States, New England, and New England states, seasonally adjusted (numbers in thousands)
Area Feb
2014
Mar
2014
Apr
2014
May
2014
June
2014
July
2014
Aug
2014
Sept
2014
Oct
2014
Nov
2014
Dec
2014
Jan
2015
Feb
2015

United States (1)

 

Civilian labor force

155,688 156,180 155,420 155,629 155,700 156,048 156,018 155,845 156,243 156,402 156,129 (2) 157,180 157,002

Employed

145,301 145,796 145,724 145,868 146,247 146,401 146,451 146,607 147,260 147,331 147,442 (2) 148,201 148,297

Unemployed

10,387 10,384 9,696 9,761 9,453 9,648 9,568 9,237 8,983 9,071 8,688 8,979 8,705

Unemployment rate

6.7 6.6 6.2 6.3 6.1 6.2 6.1 5.9 5.7 5.8 5.6 5.7 5.5

New England

 

Civilian labor force

7,756.3 7,761.6 7,766.6 7,772.0 7,778.7 7,786.5 7,794.9 7,803.2 7,810.4 7,816.4 7,821.1 7,829.2 7,849.8

Employed

7,270.5 7,283.2 7,295.3 7,307.2 7,319.8 7,332.9 7,346.3 7,359.4 7,371.8 7,382.8 7,391.6 7,411.3 7,436.4

Unemployed

485.8 478.3 471.3 464.8 458.9 453.6 448.7 443.8 438.6 433.6 429.5 417.9 413.4

Unemployment rate

6.3 6.2 6.1 6.0 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.6 5.5 5.5 5.3 5.3

Connecticut

 

Civilian labor force

1,877.6 1,879.7 1,881.0 1,881.8 1,882.7 1,884.3 1,886.8 1,889.9 1,893.3 1,896.5 1,899.4 1,904.5 (P) 1,909.8

Employed

1,746.1 1,750.2 1,753.9 1,757.2 1,760.3 1,763.5 1,766.7 1,770.1 1,773.6 1,776.8 1,779.5 1,784.2 (P) 1,787.9

Unemployed

131.6 129.5 127.1 124.6 122.4 120.9 120.0 119.8 119.7 119.7 119.9 120.2 (P) 122.0

Unemployment rate

7.0 6.9 6.8 6.6 6.5 6.4 6.4 6.3 6.3 6.3 6.3 6.3 (P) 6.4

Maine

 

Civilian labor force

703.6 702.6 701.7 700.8 699.8 698.7 697.5 696.4 695.3 694.4 693.7 692.3 (P) 690.7

Employed

661.9 661.7 661.3 660.8 660.1 659.2 658.3 657.4 656.7 656.1 655.7 656.3 (P) 656.3

Unemployed

41.6 41.0 40.4 40.0 39.8 39.5 39.3 39.0 38.7 38.3 38.0 36.1 (P) 34.4

Unemployment rate

5.9 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.5 5.2 (P) 5.0

Massachusetts

 

Civilian labor force

3,533.5 3,539.6 3,545.0 3,550.1 3,555.5 3,561.2 3,567.1 3,572.9 3,578.2 3,582.8 3,586.6 3,591.1 (P) 3,607.7

Employed

3,321.7 3,330.5 3,337.9 3,344.6 3,351.5 3,358.7 3,366.4 3,374.3 3,382.1 3,389.3 3,395.2 3,409.4 (P) 3,430.5

Unemployed

211.7 209.2 207.1 205.5 204.0 202.4 200.7 198.5 196.0 193.5 191.4 181.7 (P) 177.3

Unemployment rate

6.0 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.3 5.1 (P) 4.9

New Hampshire

 

Civilian labor force

742.4 742.1 741.7 741.2 740.8 740.5 740.4 740.6 740.8 741.1 741.3 742.8 (P) 744.1

Employed

708.4 708.5 708.5 708.5 708.6 708.9 709.3 710.0 710.6 711.2 711.7 713.3 (P) 714.8

Unemployed

34.0 33.6 33.2 32.7 32.2 31.6 31.1 30.6 30.2 29.9 29.6 29.4 (P) 29.3

Unemployment rate

4.6 4.5 4.5 4.4 4.3 4.3 4.2 4.1 4.1 4.0 4.0 4.0 (P) 3.9

Rhode Island

 

Civilian labor force

555.1 555.2 555.3 555.3 555.1 554.4 553.3 552.1 550.9 549.7 548.8 549.0 (P) 549.6

Employed

508.4 509.4 510.4 511.4 512.1 512.5 512.5 512.3 512.0 511.8 511.6 513.1 (P) 514.8

Unemployed

46.7 45.8 44.9 43.9 42.9 41.9 40.9 39.8 38.8 37.9 37.2 35.9 (P) 34.8

Unemployment rate

8.4 8.2 8.1 7.9 7.7 7.6 7.4 7.2 7.0 6.9 6.8 6.5 (P) 6.3

Vermont

 

Civilian labor force

349.1 348.9 348.8 348.8 348.8 348.9 348.9 348.9 348.8 348.8 348.8 348.7 (P) 348.4

Employed

335.0 334.9 334.8 334.7 334.6 334.5 334.4 334.4 334.3 334.3 334.3 334.6 (P) 334.7

Unemployed

14.1 14.0 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.4 14.5 14.5 14.5 14.5 14.5 14.2 (P) 13.7

Unemployment rate

4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 4.1 4.1 4.2 4.2 4.2 4.1 4.1 (P) 3.9

Footnotes
(1) Data for the U.S. are obtained directly from the national Current Population Survey (CPS) and are not preliminary. Seasonally adjusted CPS data have been revised as a result of routine seasonal updates processed at the end of each calendar year.
(2) Data affected by changes in population controls.
(P) Preliminary
 

Table 2. Civilian labor force and unemployment by census region and division, seasonally adjusted (numbers in thousands)
Census region and division Civilian labor force Unemployed
Feb
2014
Dec
2014
Jan
2015
Feb
2015
Number Percent of the labor force
Feb
2014
Dec
2014
Jan
2015
Feb
2015
Feb
2014
Dec
2014
Jan
2015
Feb
2015

Northeast

28,264.1 28,258.4 28,296.0 28,330.0 1,863.7 1,603.3 1,586.4 1,584.6 6.6 5.7 5.6 5.6

New England

7,756.3 7,821.1 7,829.2 7,849.8 485.8 429.5 417.9 413.4 6.3 5.5 5.3 5.3

Middle Atlantic

20,507.7 20,437.3 20,466.8 20,480.2 1,377.8 1,173.8 1,168.5 1,171.2 6.7 5.7 5.7 5.7

South

56,911.4 57,050.4 57,140.4 57,205.9 3,582.6 3,194.7 3,131.8 3,073.2 6.3 5.6 5.5 5.4

South Atlantic

30,190.2 30,242.8 30,290.6 30,332.8 1,961.7 1,752.3 1,721.2 1,709.5 6.5 5.8 5.7 5.6

East South Central

8,474.3 8,316.8 8,332.5 8,349.2 609.7 529.6 525.4 504.3 7.2 6.4 6.3 6.0

West South Central

18,246.9 18,490.8 18,517.2 18,523.9 1,011.2 912.8 885.2 859.4 5.5 4.9 4.8 4.6

Midwest

34,384.5 34,552.3 34,612.1 34,578.4 2,211.7 1,840.0 1,815.4 1,763.0 6.4 5.3 5.2 5.1

East North Central

23,296.3 23,379.7 23,417.3 23,367.7 1,663.9 1,363.1 1,341.7 1,293.6 7.1 5.8 5.7 5.5

West North Central

11,088.2 11,172.6 11,194.8 11,210.7 547.7 476.9 473.7 469.4 4.9 4.3 4.2 4.2

West

36,360.3 36,745.4 36,821.5 36,862.8 2,611.4 2,350.2 2,309.1 2,255.6 7.2 6.4 6.3 6.1

Mountain

11,203.7 11,311.8 11,342.5 11,370.3 699.6 604.0 595.5 591.2 6.2 5.3 5.3 5.2

Pacific

25,156.6 25,433.6 25,478.9 25,492.5 1,911.8 1,746.2 1,713.6 1,664.4 7.6 6.9 6.7 6.5

Note: Census region estimates are derived by summing the Census division model-based estimates. Data refer to place of residence. Regions are defined as the four Census regions, comprised as follows: Northeast Region includes the New England Division - Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont; and the Middle Atlantic Division - New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. South Rgion includes the South Atlantic Division - Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia; East South Central Division - Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee; and West South Central Division - Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. Midwest Region includes the East North Central - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin; and the West North Central Division - Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. West Region includes the Moutain Division - Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. Estimates for the current year are subject to revision early in the following calendar year.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Monday, April 13, 2015