Labor Markets - July 2008
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the states of the Sixth District lost an estimated net 38,300 jobs in June from a month earlier on a seasonally adjusted basis. The largest month-over-month job losses in the nation occurred in Florida, which lost 22,300 jobs, and Georgia, which lost 14,400 jobs. Mississippi and Tennessee lost 4,300 and 3,600 jobs, respectively, while Louisiana and Alabama gained 5,000 and 1,300 jobs, respectively.
Revisions to May data show net job gains in Alabama (400), Georgia (2,200), Mississippi (2,200), and Tennessee (100). Only Florida lost jobs (7,500).
On a year-over-year basis, June job counts were up in Alabama (by 4,800 jobs), Georgia (by 2,900), Louisiana (by 32,800), and Mississippi (by 2,600). Florida and Tennessee lost 78,100 and 13,400 jobs, respectively.
Payroll Employment Momentum
Payroll employment momentum for June remained positive for Mississippi and Louisiana, although Mississippi showed signs of slipping. Florida and Tennessee continued to show weak momentum (both short- and long-term employment trends were negative) with no signs of improvement. Georgia, which dropped into slipping momentum in May, showed further signs of weakness in June. Alabama and the United States (less the states of the Sixth District) remained in the slipping quadrant.
The overall unemployment rate for the Sixth District was little changed, decreasing to 5.5 percent in June from 5.6 percent in May (on a seasonally adjusted basis). From May to June, the unemployment rate held steady in Alabama (4.7), Georgia (5.7), and Mississippi (6.9). The unemployment rate decreased from 5.6 to 5.5 percent in Florida but increased from 6.4 to 6.5 percent in Tennessee.
Districtwide initial unemployment claims (IUC) at the end of June were 35.6 percent higher than a year earlier. IUC in Florida and Georgia jumped 41 and 35 percent, respectively, above June 2007 levels. Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in May were also up in all District states, most notably in Florida (51 percent) and Georgia (54 percent). Higher continuing claims suggest that people who have lost their jobs are having more difficulty finding new employment.