Labor Markets - July 2010

Employment in both the District and the nation improved as the rate of job losses continued to slow in June.

  • The rate of job losses slowed in June in both the District and the nation for the tenth consecutive month, almost reaching year-earlier levels.

The Sixth District shed 26,800 jobs in June.

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the only Sixth District state to add jobs in June was Louisiana.
  • Job losses in most District states were a result of the reversal of the government employment boost in May from Census hiring.
  • Private payrolls have been increasing over the past few months but at a slow pace.

All District states except Louisiana lost jobs in June. Job losses in most states were due to the reversal of Census 2010 hiring that occurred in previous months.

Source: BLS, FRBA

Employment momentum continued to improve in most Sixth District states.

Explanation of employment momentum charts

Source: BLS, FRBA

The unemployment rate for the Sixth District declined to 10.4 percent in May, still above the national rate of 9.5 percent (on a seasonally adjusted basis).

  • The BLS reported that the unemployment rate declined in all Sixth District states except Louisiana, where it increased slightly for the second consecutive month.
  • Louisiana, however, continues to be the only District state with an unemployment rate below the national average.

While unemployment rates decreased in all District states, most rates remain above the national average and among the highest in the nation.

Source: BLS, FRBA

Initial unemployment claims were mixed across the District.

  • Although Florida has experienced a recent upward trend in claims, it was among the states with the largest decreases in initial claims for the week ending July 17, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • A U.S. Department of Labor news release for the week ending July 10 noted that the large increase in initial claims in Florida was due to layoffs in agriculture, construction, trade, service, and manufacturing industries.
  • There is no evidence of a negative impact on employment from the oil spill as claims in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama have either fallen or remained flat. BP's hiring of displaced local workers to assist with cleanup efforts may have offset job losses in Gulf states.

Continuing claims remained relatively flat for most Sixth District states.

  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, continuing claims in Florida decreased for the week ending July 10 after an uptick in claims the previous week.
  • On July 22, President Obama signed an unemployment benefits extension bill that extends benefits through November of this year and retroactively provides aid to those whose checks were cut off when benefits expired June 2.