Labor Markets - April 2008
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released on April 18, the states of the Sixth District lost an estimated net 21,800 jobs in March from a month earlier on a seasonally adjusted basis. Only Mississippi added 2,400 to payrolls in March. All other District states lost jobs: Florida lost 17,400 jobs; Georgia lost 4,700 jobs; and Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee lost 300, 200, and 1,600 jobs, respectively.
Revisions to February data show that Georgia added a net 800 jobs in February, while Louisiana added 1,100 jobs, Alabama lost 500 jobs, Florida lost 16,000 jobs, Mississippi lost 900 jobs, and Tennessee lost 1,100 jobs.
On a year-over-year basis, in March job counts were up in Alabama (by 11,800 jobs) Georgia (by 35,300), Louisiana (by 29,700), and Mississippi (by 10,300); Florida lost 56,600 jobs, and Tennessee lost 800 jobs.
The overall unemployment rate for the region increased to 5 percent in March from 4.7 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis. From February to March, the unemployment rate increased from 3.7 percent to 4.1 percent in Alabama, from 4.6 percent to 4.9 percent in Florida, from 5.1 percent to 5.3 percent in Georgia, from 3.7 percent to 4.5 percent in Louisiana, from 5.9 percent to 6 percent in Mississippi, and from 5.3 percent to 5.6 percent in Tennessee.
Districtwide initial unemployment claims (IUC) and continued unemployment claims (CUC) at the end of March were, respectively, 24 and 33 percent higher from the same period in 2007, putting them far above the comparable rates for the nation as a whole. Labor market conditions appear to be weakening, especially in Florida and Georgia. For instance, IUC in Florida and Georgia jumped 43 percent and 37 percent, respectively, above March 2007 levels. Rising CUC in most District states suggests that people who have lost their jobs are having more difficulty finding new employment.