Unemployment Rate Declines in 40 States Even As Economy Double Dips, Nevada Worst State Again

In June, 20 states posted a (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate greater than the US average. At 14.2% Nevada was once again the state with most idle hands (excluding Puerto Rico, which since the earthquake nobody cares about anyway). Michigan is second at 13.2% as those unemployed for 20 years or longer (the vast majority of the population) are now presumed to be dead, thus causing a downward inflection point and a major improvement in the state's economic perspectives. California, Rhode Island and Florida rounded out the top 5 states. Yet the gimmickry at the Federal level is making the state picture better as well: in reality the main reason for the improvement on a state by state level is the decline in the labor force, so even as the unemployed in California declined by 30k, the labor force contracted as well, by 23k, and, carry the four, the net result was a loss of 27.6k workers. In other words, more data that is gradually becoming completely irrelevant.

From the press release:

Between May and June 2010, nine states recorded statistically significant changes in employment. The over-the-month  statistically significant job gains occurred in Arkansas (+6,000), Montana (+4,100), and Alaska (+2,900). The largest over-the-month statistically significant job losses occurred in California (-27,600), New York  (-22,500), and Tennessee (-20,800)...The West reported the highest regional jobless rate in June, 10.7 percent, while the Northeast recorded the lowest rate, 8.8 percent. Three regions experienced statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate changes: the Midwest, South, and West (-0.2 percentage point each). The West was the only region to register a significant rate change from a year earlier (+0.4 percentage point).

The chart below shows the Seasonally Adjusted unemployment rate by state...

...and the MoM change by state.

Additionally, the BLS also reported statistics on Weekly earnings of wage and salary workers, which also showed deflationary deterioration as prevailing wages continued to drop.

Data on usual weekly earnings are collected as part of the Current Population Survey, a nationwide sample survey of households in which respondents are asked, among other things, how much each wage and salary worker usually earns. Data shown in this release are not seasonally adjusted unless otherwise specified. Highlights from the second-quarter data are:

  • Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $744 in the second quarter  of 2010, little changed from the previous quarter, $748.
  • Median weekly earnings were $740 in the second quarter of 2010 (not seasonally adjusted). Women who usually worked full time had median weekly earnings of $672, or 83.0 percent of the $810 median for men. The female-to-male earnings ratio was lowest among whites (81.4 percent), compared with blacks (92.6 percent), Hispanics (94.8 percent), and Asians (94.8 percent).Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median earnings for black men working at full-time jobs were $632 per week, 75.4 percent of the median for white men, $838. The difference was less among women, as black women's median earnings ($585) were 85.8 percent of those for white women ($682). Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($529) were lower than those of blacks ($607), whites ($756), and Asians ($873).
  • Usual weekly earnings of full-time workers varied by age. Among men, those age 45 to 54 and age 55 to 64 had the highest median weekly earnings, $948 and $953, respectively. Usual weekly earnings were highest for women from age 35 to 64; median weekly earnings were $731 for women age 35 to 44 and age 45 to 54, essentially the same as the $730 median for women age 55 to 64.
  • Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in management, professional, and related occupations had the highest median weekly earnings--$1,229 for men and $920 for women. Men and women employed in service jobs earned the least.
  • By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high school diploma had median weekly earnings of $440, compared with $629 for high school graduates (no college) and $1,138 for those holding at least a bachelor's degree. Among college graduates with advanced degrees (professional or master's degree and above), the highest earning 10 percent of male workers made $3,297 or more per week, compared with $2,178 or more for their female counterparts.