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Data & Analysis

Labor Markets - March 2009

Data Sources on the Web
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
U.S. Department of Labor
 
Excel logoData
Payroll Employment Growth
Payroll Employment Growth
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Source: BLS, FRBA

Excel logoData
Payroll Employment Growth by State
District Payroll Employment Growth
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Source: BLS, FRBA

Month-over-Month Change in Employment: January 2009
Month-over-Month Change in Employment
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Source: BLS

Explanation of chart
Payroll Employment Momentum: January 2009
Unemployment Rates
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Source: BLS, FRBA

Explanation of chart
Payroll Employment Momentum: December 2008
Unemployment Rates
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Source: BLS, FRBA

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Unemployment Rates
Unemployment Rates
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Source: BLS

Unemployment Rates: January 2009
Unemployment Rates
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Source: BLS

Excel logoData
Unemployment Claims
Initial and Continuing Unemployment Claims
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Source: U.S. Department of Labor
Data and Analysis

Labor Markets

March 2009

Payroll Employment
Payroll Employment Momentum
Unemployment Rate
Unemployment Claims

Payroll Employment
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the Sixth District states lost a net 70,500 jobs in January from a month earlier on a seasonally adjusted basis. The drop in employment marked the fourteenth consecutive month of job losses for the District. Unlike in previous months when only a few states accounted for the bulk of job losses, employment losses were widespread throughout all District states. The nation as a whole lost 655,000 jobs.

For December, employment figures for the District were revised downward by 25,300 to –105,300. Annual benchmark revisions to payroll data revealed that Sixth District states on net lost 176,600 more jobs in 2008 than was previously estimated. The revisions also showed that the decline in District payroll employment began at the onset of the recession in December 2007 rather than in February 2008 as previously reported.

Changes in Payroll Employment
  M/M absolute change   Y/Y % change  
  Jan
2009
Dec
2008
Jan
 2009
Dec
 2008
AL –14,400 –17,200 –3.5 –2.9
FL –18,400 –32,300 –4.5 –4.7
GA –10,500 –29,800 –3.6 –3.4
LA –12,300 200 0.2 0.6
MS –1,900 –7,600 –2.8 –2.7
TN –13,000 –18,600 –3.3 –2.9
District   –70,500 –105,300 –3.5 –3.4
US –655,000 –681,000 –2.7 –2.2

Payroll Employment Momentum
Employment momentum for District states as well as for the United States (less the Sixth District states) weakened in January, mostly due to deterioration of short-term employment growth. Long-term employment growth improved slightly in Florida, but the state's short-term growth continued to weaken. Large declines in short-term employment growth reflect the acceleration of job losses in recent months. For example, 98 percent of the total recession job losses in Alabama occurred between November and January.

Unemployment Rate
The overall unemployment rate for the Sixth District states increased to 8.2 percent in January from 7.3 percent in December, above the national rate of 7.6 percent (on a seasonally adjusted basis). The national unemployment rate rose to 8.1 percent in February.

  Jan
  2009
Dec
  2008
AL 7.8 6.5
FL 8.6 7.6
GA 8.6 7.5
LA 5.1 5.5
MS 8.7 7.8
TN 8.6 7.6
District   8.2 7.3
US 7.6 7.2

Unemployment Claims
Districtwide initial claims remained elevated in February. Initial claims in Tennessee, for example, were up 157 percent compared to a year earlier. Rising initial unemployment claims suggest that near-term labor market growth will be weak. Continuing claims for the District as a whole were up 98 percent in January compared to a year earlier, indicating that the unemployed continue to have difficulty finding new employment.


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