Labor Markets - September 2010

Employment in August was up from year-earlier levels for both the nation and the District.

The Sixth District lost 26,600 jobs in August.

  • According to the BLS, the only Southeastern states to add jobs in August were Mississippi and Tennessee. A large portion of District job losses were in Florida, where payrolls decreased by 16,000.
  • The region shed 7,800 private sector jobs in August. Private payrolls in the region ticked down after four consecutive months of growth.

Payroll employment decreased in August in all District states except Mississippi and Tennessee.

Source: BLS, FRBA

In August, employment momentum improved in Florida and Alabama as both moved into Quadrant 1, indicating that long- and short-term employment are expanding. Momentum in Tennessee, however, slipped as short-term employment growth declined.

Explanation of employment momentum charts

Source: BLS, FRBA

The unemployment rate for the Sixth District decreased to 10.3 percent in August, remaining above the national rate of 9.6 percent (on a seasonally adjusted basis).

Source: BLS, FRBA

  • The BLS reported that the unemployment rate declined in three Southeastern states (Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee) and increased in three (Florida, Georgia, Louisiana).
  • Louisiana and Tennessee are the only District states with an unemployment rate at or below the national average.
  • Florida's rate of 11.7 percent continues to be the highest in the District and is among the highest in the nation.

Initial unemployment claims increased in most District states in August before declining in early September.

  • A U.S. Department of Labor news release for the week ending Sept. 11 noted a large decrease in claims in Georgia.
  • The release also reported a large increase in claims in Florida due to layoffs in construction, service industries, manufacturing, and agriculture following a large decrease in claims the previous week.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, continuing claims in all District states increased from mid-August through the beginning of September.

  • On average, roughly 550,000 people were receiving regular unemployment benefits in the District during the four weeks ending Sept. 4, about 20,000 more than the previous four weeks. These figures do not include emergency and extended benefits recipients.