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Data & Analysis

Labor Markets - October 2009

 Data
Payroll Employment Growth

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Source: BLS, FRBA
 Data
Payroll Employment Growth by State

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Source: BLS, FRBA
Month-over-Month Change in Employment: September 2009

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Source: BLS
Payroll Employment Momentum: September 2009

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Source: BLS, FRBA
Payroll Employment Momentum: August 2009

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Source: BLS, FRBA
 Data
Unemployment Rates

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Source: BLS
Unemployment Rates: September 2009

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Source: BLS
 Data
Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims

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Source: U.S. Department of Labor
 Data
Weekly Continuing Unemployment Claims

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Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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 49,800 jobs in September from a month earlier on a seasonally adjusted basis. Although this figure shows an improvement from the 94,200 jobs shed in August, it is still indicative of a struggling labor market. All District states lost jobs in September, but Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana made up roughly 80 percent of the losses. The unusually large payroll decline in Louisiana was attributed to its government sector. Tennessee lost 800 jobs in September, roughly 3,000 less than its monthly average over the previous four months, partly due to gains in its financial and professional and business sectors. The nation as a whole lost 263,000 jobs in September.

August employment figures for the District were revised upward by 2,300 to –94,200.

Changes in Payroll Employment
M/M change Y/Y % change
Sept
2009
Aug
2009
Sept
2009
Aug
2009
AL –4,200 –11,100 –4.7 –4.9
FL –14,000 –22,100 –4.7 –4.8
GA –15,500 –34,800 –6.0 –6.0
LA –10,700 –1,800 –1.0 –1.5
MS –4,600 –10,000 –3.4 –3.1
TN –800 –14,400 –4.2 –4.3
District –49,800 –94,200 –4.5 –4.6
US –263,000 –201,000 –4.2 –4.3

Payroll Employment Momentum
In September, employment momentum was little changed in most Sixth District states and the United States (less the Sixth District States), with all states remaining in Quadrant 3. Short-term employment growth improved in Tennessee, largely due to a slower job decline in September, and the state moved up toward Quadrant 4. In contrast, short-term employment growth deteriorated in Mississippi, as the state moved further down in Quadrant 3. Improvements in short-term employment growth reflect a decline in the pace of job losses in recent months.

With the exception of Louisiana, the Sixth District states and the United States (less the Sixth District States) have remained in Quadrant 3, where both short-term and long-term employment growth have been negative for much of this year. Louisiana moved into Quadrant 3 later than the other states, in April 2009.

Unemployment Rate
The overall unemployment rate for the Sixth District states remained at 10.3 percent for the third consecutive month, above the national rate of 9.8 percent (on a seasonally adjusted basis). LouisianaĆ¢??s and MississippiĆ¢??s unemployment rates remained below the national level but are still seen as high for these states.

Sept
2009
Aug
2009
AL 10.7 10.3
FL 11.0 10.8
GA 10.1 10.1
LA 7.4 7.8
MS 9.2 9.7
TN 10.5 10.7
District 10.3 10.3
US 9.8 9.7

Unemployment Claims
Average weekly initial claims declined for much of September and early October in Florida and Louisiana. Despite some volatility, initial claims continued to exhibit a clear downward trend in Florida. Initial claims declined significantly in Louisiana, reaching levels seen a year earlier. Initial claims were little changed from September to early October in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Although claims have either come down or leveled off from their recessionary peaks in most Sixth District states, current levels still reflect a weak labor market.

Average weekly continuing claims remained elevated in all District states but have declined from their recessionary peaks in all states except Louisiana and Georgia. Elevated levels of continuing claims are indicative of weak hiring rates.


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