Labor Markets - January 2009
Labor Markets - January 2009Data and Analysis
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the Sixth District states lost a net 98,200 jobs in November from a month earlier on a seasonally adjusted basis. This drop marks the tenth consecutive month of job losses for the District as a whole—the largest monthly decline in more than 60 years. All District states except Louisiana lost jobs. Georgia and Florida accounted for 90 percent of the job losses in the District. Florida lost 58,600 jobs, the largest monthly job loss in the nation. The nation as a whole lost 584,000 jobs in November.
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Payroll Employment Momentum
Employment momentum for all states in the Sixth District, as well as the United States (less the Sixth District states), worsened in November. After several months in positive employment territory, Louisiana lost short-term employment momentum in November, relative to the previous month, and is now in Quadrant 2. Tennessee and Alabama still show weakness in their short- and long-term momentum. Long-term employment trends in Florida and Georgia continued to deteriorate in November. Mississippi was little changed over the month and remained in Quadrant 3.
The overall unemployment rate for the Sixth District increased to 7.0 percent in November from 6.7 percent in October, above the national rate of 6.8 percent (on a seasonally adjusted basis). (Note that the national unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent for December; the Sixth District states' unemployment rates will be released January 27.)
Districtwide initial and continuing claims were up more than 50 percent in November compared to the same period a year earlier. Unemployment claims continued to rise in all District states and nationally. The only exception is in Louisiana, where the immediate surge in initial claims from hurricane effects is now reversing. However, the rise in Louisiana's continuing claims in November suggests that people who lost their jobs are having difficulty finding new employment. Rising unemployment claims signal that future labor market growth will be weak.