The Bureau of Labor Statistics just released the regional unemployment report for February and while month-over-month rates were little changed, year-over-year unemployment saw significant decreases. In fact, 46 states saw drops in unemployment from the year prior.
Similar to January, half of our states had lower unemployment rates in February compared to the month prior. This month, we saw 26 states with an unemployment rate decrease from January and 18 states and the District of Columbia with no change. The BLS showed Nebraska and North Dakota with the lowest unemployment rates at 2.9 and 2.7 percent respectively. In total, 19 states have lower unemployment rates than the national average, which currently sits at 5.5 percent. The regional numbers are a positive indicator for the National Jobs report set to release next week. Economists are already predicting a lower national unemployment rate after the release of the regional report.
IT Hiring By State
In February, employment in the Professional and Business Services sector increased by 51,000. But even more surprising are estimates for year-over-year growth in the industry. The BLS shows 660,00 jobs have been added since last year. The Professional and Technical Services sector remains a major contributor to the positive growth of this industry, with 31,800 jobs added last month. Within the sector, management and technical consulting services added 7,000 new jobs and computer systems design contributed 5,000 new jobs. Taking a look at state-wide numbers, more than half of the states saw growth in the Professional and Business Services sector, with the following seeing the most jobs added in the last month:
- California +9,200 jobs added in February
- Illinois +5,500 jobs added in February
- New York +5,200 jobs added in February
- Virginia +3,700 jobs added in February
- Georgia +3,600 jobs added in February
Regional Unemployment Rate Declines
Currently, the national unemployment rate sits at 5.5 percent, the lowest rate since 2008. In February, our regions experienced unemployment rate decreases from the month prior, which economists say is an indicator for positive news in next week’s National Jobs Report. For the tenth month in a row, the Midwest held the lowest unemployment rate with 5.1 percent, which was a 0.1 percent drop from the month prior. All 4 regions saw unemployment rate decreases from January, and all 4 saw significant decreases from February of 2014.
- West -0.2% from January to February, -1.1% year-over-year
- Midwest -0.1% from January to February, -1.3% year-over-year
- South -0.1% from January to February, -0.9% year-over-year
- Northeast 0% from January to February, -1.0% year-over-year
The Region-by-Region Fast Facts
State Stats At-a-Glance
February’s report shows 19 states added a substantial number of jobs. The largest of those being:
- California +29,400 jobs
- Georgia +25,400 jobs
- New York +20,200 jobs
Year-over-year job increases were significant in 38 states and the District of Columbia. Three states that saw the most jobs added since last year at this time were:
- California +476,400 jobs
- Texas +357,300 jobs
- Florida +266,600 jobs
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