Labor Markets - November 2009
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the Sixth District lost a net 13,400 jobs in October from a month earlier (on a seasonally adjusted basis). Although this figure is an improvement from an average monthly job loss of 46,000 during quarter three, it is still indicative of a struggling labor market. Alabama and Tennessee added jobs in October while the rest of the District continued to lose jobs. Georgia and Florida accounted for the majority of jobs lost. The construction sector in Florida, which continued to lose a considerable number of jobs, accounted for almost all of the jobs lost in that state.
September employment figures for the District were revised upward substantially by 23,900, resulting in a revised job loss of –25,900. The majority of the upward revisions were in Florida and Georgia. Florida actually added 900 jobs in September.
The year-over-year change in employment remained weak for the District as well as the nation but showed signs of bottoming out.
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Payroll Employment Momentum
In October, employment momentum was little changed in most Sixth District states and the United States (less the Sixth District States), with all states remaining in Quadrant 3. Short-term employment growth deteriorated in Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, and, most notably, Mississippi. In contrast, short-term employment improved slightly in the United States (less Sixth District States) as it moved up toward Quadrant 4. Improvements in short-term employment growth reflect the decline in the pace of job losses in recent months. Long-term employment growth deteriorated in Louisiana in October.
The overall unemployment rate for the Sixth District states increased to 10.4 percent, above the national rate of 10.2 percent (on a seasonally adjusted basis). Louisiana's and Mississippi's unemployment rates remained below the national level but are still seen as high for these states.
Average weekly initial claims eased in October in Georgia and Tennessee and continued to level off in Alabama and Mississippi. Declining initial claims indicate that near-term job losses will continue to ease. Although initial claims have either come down or leveled off from their recessionary peaks in most Sixth District states, current levels still reflect a weak labor market. Unlike in the rest of the District, initial claims increased sharply in October in Louisiana, which began to feel the impact of the current downturn much later than other states.
Average weekly continuing claims remained elevated in all District states but have declined from their recessionary peaks in all states except Louisiana. Continuing claims could be easing in part as a result of people exhausting their regular unemployment benefits. The current elevated levels of continuing claims are indicative of weak hiring rates.
- Data Sources
- Month-over-Month Change in Employment: October 2009
- Payroll Employment Growth
- Payroll Employment Growth by State
- Payroll Employment Momentum: October 2009
- Payroll Employment Momentum: September 2009
- Unemployment Rates
- Unemployment Rates: October 2009
- Weekly Continuing Unemployment Claims
- Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims
Month-over-Month Change in Employment: October 2009Source: BLS Data: labor_mkts_1109c.xls Chart: labor_mkts_1109c.jpg
Payroll Employment GrowthSource: BLS, FRBA Data: labor_mkts_1109a.xls Chart: labor_mkts_1109a.jpg
Payroll Employment Growth by StateSource: BLS, FRBA Data: labor_mkts_1109b.xls Chart: labor_mkts_1109b.jpg
Payroll Employment Momentum: October 2009Source: BLS, FRBA Data: labor_mkts_1109d.xls Chart: labor_mkts_1109d.jpg showExplanation
Payroll Employment Momentum: September 2009Source: BLS, FRBA Data: labor_mkts_1109e.xls Chart: labor_mkts_1109e.jpg showExplanation
Unemployment RatesSource: BLS Data: labor_mkts_1109f.xls Chart: labor_mkts_1109f.jpg showOnHome
Unemployment Rates: October 2009Source: BLS Data: labor_mkts_1109g.xls Chart: labor_mkts_1109g.jpg
Weekly Continuing Unemployment ClaimsSource: Source: U.S. Department of Labor Data: labor_mkts_1109i.xls Chart: labor_mkts_1109i.jpg
Weekly Initial Unemployment ClaimsSource: U.S. Department of Labor Data: labor_mkts_1109h.xls Chart: labor_mkts_1109h.jpg