Labor Markets - January 2011

Payroll employment in December was up from its year-earlier level for both the nation and the District.

Sixth District states shed 57,500 jobs in December.

  • According to the BLS, all Sixth District states except Mississippi lost jobs in December. The largest job losses were in Florida (–17,900) and Georgia (–17,500).
  • Government payrolls in the region added 600 jobs in December, the second consecutive monthly increase.

Payroll employment decreased in December in all District states except Mississippi.

Source: BLS, FRBA

In December, employment momentum was relatively unchanged across the District. Short-term employment growth improved slightly in Louisiana while Alabama moved into the "slipping" quadrant as short-term employment growth declined.

Explanation of employment momentum charts

Source: BLS, FRBA

The unemployment rate for the Sixth District remained at 10.5 percent in December, still above the national rate of 9.4 percent (on a seasonally adjusted basis).

Source: BLS, FRBA

  • The BLS reported that the unemployment rate declined in Louisiana in December and increased in three District states (Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi). The unemployment rates were unchanged in Florida and Tennessee.
  • Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee are the only District states with an unemployment rate at or below the national average.
  • Florida's rate of 12 percent continues to be the highest in the District and is the third highest in the nation.

Initial unemployment claims were mixed across the District in December and early January.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, continuing claims were mixed across the District in October and early November.

  • On average, 508,000 people were receiving regular unemployment benefits in the District during the four weeks ending Jan. 1, about 11,000 less than the previous four weeks. These figures do not include emergency and extended benefits recipients.