For release: Thursday, March 10, 2011

Technical information: (816) 285-7000 • BLSInfoKansasCity@bls.gov • www.bls.gov/ro7• www.bls.gov/ro7


MOUNTAIN DIVISION AND STATE UNEMPLOYMENT - 2010

The unemployment rate in the Mountain division rose 0.9 percentage point over the year to 9.7 percent in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationally, the U.S. jobless rate was up 0.3 percentage point from the prior year and reached 9.6 percent. (See table 1.) Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that the Mountain's unemployment rate was not significantly different than the national rate, but was the highest recorded in the 35 years that this data has been collected. (See chart 1. All division and state series begin in 1976.)

Chart 1. Unemployment rates for the U.S. and Mountain census division, 1976 - 2010

The Mountain is one of nine geographic divisions in the United States. Jobless rates in the divisions ranged from a low of 7.3 percent in the West North Central to a high of 11.7 percent in the Pacific in 2010. Four divisions recorded annual average unemployment rates that were significantly lower than that for the nation. Three divisions had rates appreciably above the U.S. average—the Pacific, the East North Central, and the South Atlantic. (See table 2.)

Five of the nine geographic divisions reported statistically significant over-the-year unemployment rate increases in 2010. The increases ranged from 0.4 percentage point in the Middle Atlantic to 0.9 percentage point in the Mountain.

Of the eight states that make up the Mountain division, three had the highest jobless rates ever recorded in their annual series—Nevada (14.9 percent), Colorado (8.9 percent), and Idaho (9.3 percent). Nevada recorded the highest rate in the nation, exceeding the national average by 5.3 percentage points. Five states in the division had jobless rates that were significantly lower than that for the nation with three of these recording rates under 8.0 percent: Wyoming (7.0 percent), Montana (7.2 percent), and Utah (7.7 percent). New Mexico and Colorado also recorded rates measurably below average while the rates in Idaho and Arizona were not appreciably different from the U.S. rate.

In 2010, 15 states in the U.S. reported unemployment rates of 10.0 percent or more. Nevada recorded the highest rate, 14.9 percent, followed by Michigan (12.5 percent), and California (12.4 percent). This was the first time since 2005 that Michigan did not post the highest unemployment rate among the states. North Dakota again registered the lowest jobless rate among the states, 3.9 percent. Overall, 27 states reported unemployment rates measurably lower than the national average in 2010 and 10 states reported rates that were significantly higher.

Six states in the Mountain division posted statistically significant jobless rate increases from 2009. The over-the-year rate increases in Nevada (+2.4 points), Idaho (+1.6 points), and New Mexico (+1.4 points) were the highest in the nation. (West Virginia, part of the South Atlantic division, also had an increase of 1.4 percentage points). Colorado, Montana, and Utah had statistically significant increases while rates in Arizona and Wyoming were not appreciably different from those of the prior year.

Nationally, 18 states experienced statistically significant jobless rate increases from 2009 to 2010, six of which were greater than 1.0 percentage point. Measureable rate decreases were recorded in four states with Michigan and Minnesota (-0.8 percentage point each) registering the largest declines.

Technical note

This release presents 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 monthly sample survey of approximately 60,000 households nationwide that is conducted for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the Census Bureau. All subnational estimates presented in this release were derived from updated time-series models with monthly benchmarking to national Current Population Survey (CPS) estimates. Subnational data reflect revised population controls and model reestimation. Historical data were revised back to 2006. Data for regions, divisions, states, and the District of Columbia are available back to 1976.

The LAUS program produces data for the nine geographic divisions in the United States: New England, Middle Atlantic, South Atlantic, East South Central, West South Central, East North Central, West North Central, Mountain, and Pacific. Data for all divisions, as well as the 50 states, are available in the Regional and State Unemployment release at www.bls.gov/lau/home.htm#news.

Analysis in this news release reflects the use of model-based error measures when making comparisons with the U.S. and the prior year. BLS uses a 90-percent confidence level in determining whether changes or differences in subnational unemployment rates are statistically significant. Model-based error measures are available on the BLS Web site at www.bls.gov/lau/lastderr.htm.

Additional information

For personal assistance or further information on the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program, as well as other Bureau programs, contact the Mountain-Plains Information Office at 816-285-7000 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population for the U.S., Mountain, and Mountain states, 2009-10 annual averages (Numbers in thousands)
Area Civilian labor force Employed Unemployed Unemployment rate Error range of rate, 2010(2)
2009 2010 2009 2010 2009 2010 2009 2010

United States (1)

154,142 153,889 139,877 139,064 14,265 14,825 9.3 9.6 9.5 - 9.7

Mountain

11,108 11,084 10,135 10,014 973 1,070 8.8 9.7 9.3 - 10.0

Arizona

3,157 3,176 2,851 2,860 306 316 9.7 10.0 9.2 - 10.7

Colorado

2,728 2,687 2,502 2,448 226 240 8.3 8.9 8.4 - 9.5

Idaho

751 758 693 687 58 71 7.7 9.3 8.5 - 10.2

Montana

496 497 465 461 31 36 6.3 7.2 6.5 - 8.0

Nevada

1,354 1,350 1,184 1,150 170 201 12.5 14.9 14.0 - 15.7

New Mexico

942 953 876 873 66 80 7.0 8.4 7.6 - 9.2

Utah

1,383 1,368 1,285 1,262 98 106 7.1 7.7 7.1 - 8.3

Wyoming

297 294 278 273 19 20 6.5 7.0 6.4 - 7.5

Footnotes:
(1) Data for the U.S. are obtained directly from the national Current Population Survey.
(2) Error ranges are shown at the 90-percent confidence level and are based on unrounded data.

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.

Table 2. Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population by region and division, 2009-10 annual averages (Numbers in thousands)
Census region and divison Civilian labor force Employed Unemployed Unemployment rate Error range of rate, 2010(1)
2009 2010 2009 2010 2009 2010 2009 2010

Northeast

28,321 28,243 25,950 25,784 2,370 2,459 8.4 8.7 8.5 - 8.9

New England

7,733 7,770 7,100 7,109 633 660 8.2 8.5 8.2 - 8.8

Middle Atlantic

20,587 20,473 18,850 18,675 1,737 1,799 8.4 8.8 8.5 - 9.1

South

55,051 55,210 50,166 50,060 4,885 5,150 8.9 9.3 9.2 - 9.5

South Atlantic

29,378 29,303 26,621 26,388 2,758 2,915 9.4 9.9 9.7 - 10.2

East South Central

8,597 8,581 7,722 7,727 875 855 10.2 10.0 9.5 - 10.4

West South Central

17,076 17,326 15,823 15,946 1,253 1,380 7.3 8.0 7.7 - 8.3

Midwest

34,637 34,480 31,317 31,237 3,319 3,243 9.6 9.4 9.2 - 9.6

East North Central

23,667 23,538 21,155 21,091 2,513 2,448 10.6 10.4 10.1 - 10.7

West North Central

10,969 10,942 10,163 10,146 806 796 7.4 7.3 7.0 - 7.5

West

35,817 35,767 32,161 31,812 3,656 3,955 10.2 11.1 10.8 - 11.3

Mountain

11,108 11,084 10,135 10,014 973 1,070 8.8 9.7 9.3 - 10.0

Pacific

24,709 24,683 22,026 21,798 2,683 2,885 10.9 11.7 11.4 - 12.0

Footnotes:
(1) Error ranges are shown at the 90-percent confidence level and are based on unrounded data.

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.
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 Region 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 Division - 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 Mountain Division - Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming; and the Pacific Division - Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.

Chart 2. Over-the-year change in unemployment rates by state, 2010 annual averages

Chart 3. Unemployment rates by state, 2010 annual averages

 

Last Modified Date: May 9, 2013