Labor Markets - July 2009
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the Sixth District states lost a net 45,200 jobs in June from a month earlier on a seasonally adjusted basis. Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee accounted for most of the job losses. Mississippi, the only state in the District to add jobs, added 4,500 jobs in June, the second-largest month-over-month increase in the nation. Labor markets remained strained throughout the District. The nation as a whole lost 467,000 jobs in June.
May employment figures for the District were revised upward by 10,300 to –74,800.
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Payroll Employment Momentum
In June, short-term employment growth improved in Mississippi, with the state moving closer to Quadrant 4. This improvement was mainly a result of the state's positive payroll figures in June. Short-term employment momentum held steady in Georgia and Louisiana but improved slightly in the rest of the Sixth District and in the United States (less the Sixth District states). Improvements in short-term employment growth reflected a decline in the pace of job losses in recent months.
The overall unemployment rate for the Sixth District states increased to 10 percent in June, above the national rate of 9.5 percent (on a seasonally adjusted basis). Louisiana's unemployment rate remained below the national level but is still seen as high for the state.
Average weekly initial claims picked up in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama in June. Although initial claims continued to level off in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana, current levels still reflect a weak labor market.
Average weekly continuing claims remained elevated in all District states but have declined from their recessionary peaks in all states except Louisiana and Georgia. Georgia's continuing claims reached a historical high in June, reflecting an increase in layoffs. Elevated levels of continuing claims were also indicative of weak hiring rates.