State Unionism Rankings: Do Highly Unionized States have Higher Unemployment?

Union employment in the U.S. continued to shrink this past year.  Nationwide union participation stands at 12.3% which is a slight decline from 2008.

The BLS 2009 Annual Union Affiliation by Statesurvey was recently published.  It has brought increased attention to the union movement. Union policy will further be in the spotlight this week as the Senate wrestles with the nomination of Craig Becker, a clearly pro-union candidate, to the National Labor Review Board.  See GOP’s Senate Gain Clouds Prospect of Obama’s Labor Board Nominee.  In view of this upcoming debate, we thought it would be helpful to take a deeper look at state unionization and employment.


Let’s take a look at state unionization.

New York is the most unionized state in the nation with 27.2% of its population working for a union.  More than 1 in four workers are represented by a union in New York.  Hawaii at 24.3% is the second most unionized state at 24.3%, followed by Alaska at 23.6%.  Washington, Michigan, and New Jersey are heavily unionized states with about 20% union participation rates.

The least unionized state is North Carolina at 4.4%.  Only one in 23 workers in North Carolina are represented by a union, a sharp difference as compared to New York.  Additional states with low union participation rates are Arkansas at 5.0%, Virginia at 5.4%, South Carolina at 5.4% and Georgia at 5.9%

Twenty seven states had decreased union participation in 2009 as compared with 2008.  States with low union participation rates generally became less so in 2009 and those states with union growth were primarily already highly unionized.  There are 22 states with right to work laws in the U.S.  Right to work laws generally do not require employees to pay fees or join a union even if voted in.

A look at union participation and unemployment shows states with high union participation rates are closely associated with higher unemployment.

The five Worst States for Employment in 2009 were Michigan, Rhode Island, Nevada, California and South Carolina.  All but South Carolina are highly unionized states.  The Worst States for Employment in 2009 generally were highly unionized states.

Worst States for Employment and Union Participation

 

 

The Best States for Employment in 2009 were North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma and Kansas. All but Iowa have unionparticipation rates below the U.S. average and would be classified asstates with low unionization.  If you are looking for a job, look at states with low unionization.  They tend to have less unemployment. See  Best and Worst States for Jobs: Will Jobs Improve in 2010 for the rankings of all states by employment.  The list of Best States for Employment and Union Participation follows:

Best States for Employment and Union Participation



The list of Unionism by State follows:

Unionism by State


Union membership has been in a long term decline since 1983 when BLS first started measuring it in a consistent way.  Union participation was 20.1% of the working population in 1983.  It is now approximately 40% lower at 12.3%.  For the first time in 2009, the majority of union members now work for the government and not for private, for profit entities.  These state workers are on average paid significantly more than private industry.  Making it easier for government workers to unionize will only push labor costs higher and cost the taxpayers more.  Political leaders should be trying to keep these costs in check. (The average federal worker’s pay is $71,206 as compared to $40,331 in the private sector and is growing above inflation rates) The Obama administration’s labor policy approach creates a conflict with its responsibilities to protect the taxpayer. Increased unionization will increase our cost of government.  If the Obama administration is serious about job creation and deficit control, it may want to reconsider this approach.  Unions and job creation generally do not have a positive correlation.  Watch the news this week as it relates to Craig Becker.  It will have implications for jobs and deficits.

One Year Of Obama and Stimulus: Job Openings down 5.48% , Unemployment Up to 10%

It has been one year since President Obama took office and announced a stimulus bill that was to improve jobs.  The data suggests that the job market continued to deteriorate this past year.  Unemployment is up to 10% from 7.4%.  Job Openings are down 5.48%

Job Openings, as measured on careerbuilder.com, have not improved from one year ago.  Nationwide, job openings at January 31, 2010 were 5.48% lower than January 29, 2009.  Total job openings stand at 222,189 as compared to 235,059 last year, a decrease of 12,870.  37 States have lower job openings as compared to last year.

 

 

Best and Worst States has been tracking Job Openings by State for the past year and has reported on movements.  For some of our previouslinks see November 2009, Job Stimulus Not Working  , Job Openings September 2009 and last year’s Best and Worst States for Job Openings January 2009.  While the drops early in the year have appeared to stabilize, the level of job openings is not robust enough to suggest significant improvements in employment soon.

The Best State for Job Openings is Indiana as measured by growth.  Indiana had the largest gain in job openings, 887, up 17.4% from a year ago. Best States for Jobs also were Kentucky, Ohio and TennesseeFlorida and Ohio were the best large states for job openings.  They were the only 2 states of the Top Ten Employment States to show increases in openings.  13 States had increases in job openings from a year ago.

The Worst State for Jobs was California.  It has 3,667 less job openings from a year ago, a decrease of 14.18%.  California also has the fourth worst employment rate in the nation.  Unemployment in California is now at 12.4%, up 3.7% from a year ago.  California is struggling on many fronts and an increasing jobless population will not help it turn around.  For more on California see California Jobs Shrinking

Additional Worst States for Jobs  are Texas, Illinois,Massachusetts and Arizona.  They each had large job opening losses and double digit declines in percentage terms.

Another measure of job openings, the Conference Board’s Help Wanted On-Line Data Series is also indicating year over year decreases in job openings. The Conference Board Data for 2009 annual average job openings stands at 3,357,000, 1.1million below the 4,481,000 annual average for 2008.  More importantly their average job opening number for 2009 is 2.4 million below the 2007 average job opening number.  These are not good numbers.  On an encouraging note,the Conference Board reported positive improvement in job openings in New York, Washington, Connecticut, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Delaware and New Jersey.

All 50 states saw their unemployment rates increase in 2009.  See Unemployment by State 2009 for the entire 2009 list and unemployment changes from a year ago. Job openings must increase significantly nationwide if unemployment is to improve to acceptable levels. It is going to take some time for this to occur.

 

Job Openings by State January 2010

 

Largest State
California Continues to
Show Shrinking Job Openings


Texas Jobs Not Growing

Florida Shows Small Increase

Illinois Jobs Down 10.64%

37 States Have
Fewer Job Openings

2 of 10 Largest States
Show Small Increase

Indiana Best State for Job Opening Growth

Job Openings Do Not Suggest
Employment Improvements

States running out of Jobless Money, Taxing Employers More

23 States are now borrowing from the U.S. Government to pay for unemployment benefits. (California has borrowed  $4.5 billion as of mid October 2009, the most in the nation.)

This is only the beginning of the bad news for states and employers.  States will be borrowing more and taxing employers more in 2010. This will impact the willingness of companies to hire in the future.  This is not good news for the job market.

For example, Florida, which has borrowed $465 million as of mid October, this past week increased its unemployment insurance tax on employers for next year quite substantially.  The minimum tax will jump from $8.40 per employee to $100.30 – analmost 12-fold increase – while the maximum will go up from $378 peremployee to $459.  Florida is facing a multitude of issues as it tries to dig itself out of the faltering economy.  The Sun-Sentinel did a great piece this week highlighting how Florida is losing residents, jobs and borrowing $300 million per month to make unemployment payments.  See Shrinking Florida faces tough choices as residents flee, jobs vanish

Arizona is among 33 states that will increase unemployment compensationtaxes next year, according the National Association of State WorkforceAgencies.  See  State tax push makes U.S. firms wary of adding jobs

Arizona recently asked to borrow $600 million in federal funds to keep its jobless payments going.  With its October 2009 unemployment rate of 9.3% Arizona will be needing to raise taxes on employers as well.  It is currently estimated that Arizona will increase its tax 41.8% on employers in January 2010.  See Arizona jobless funds running out

Most states will announce their unemployment tax rates for 2010 before year end and taxes will be increasing.  This is bad news for employers and the outlook for jobs. The Heritage Foundation’s Foundry blog recently posted a good explanation on how these increases will further hurt the job market.  See How Unemployment Taxes and Obama’s Stimulus Are Killing Jobs

The List of States Borrowing To Pay Unemployment Benefits follows.  We added Arizona to the BLS list that was compiled as of October 19, 2009.

Rank State Fed Loan
1 California $4.5 billion
2 Michigan $2.8 billion
3 New York $1.6 billion
4 Ohio $1.4 billion
5 North Carolina $1.3 billion
6 Pennsylvania $1.3 billion
7 Indiana $1.3 billion
8 New Jersey $700 million
9 Texas $697 million
10 Wisconsin $684 million
11 Arizona $600 million
12 Illinois $590 million
13 South Carolina $570 million
14 Kentucky $469 million
15 Florida $465 million
16 Missouri $326 million
17 South Dakota $308 million
18 Minnesota $143 million
19 Arkansas $135 million
20 Rhode Island $104 million
21 Idaho $73 million
22 Alabama $47 million
23 Connecticut $31 million

Source:Bureau of Labor Statistics

Best States for Jobs September 2009, 48 States See Opening Decreases

We ran our September 2009 Best and Worst States for Job openings.  Job Openings dropped an alarming 6.2% on September 30 as compared to July 31.  This is particularly discouraging as we had seen our only increase in job openings this year in July.  This reversal ratifies the year long downward trend.  We develop our analysis from data listed by the nation’s largest job posting service CareerBuilder.com.  It is a good proxy for job openings nationwide.

Job Openings nationwide shrank in September to 217,040 from 231,370 in July, a drop of 14,330 job openings.

48 States saw jobs shrink.  Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana saw the biggest percentage job opening lossesKentucky Jobs, with an increase of only 180 job openings. and Utah Jobs, up 30, were the Top States for Jobs and the only 2 states in the nation that showed improvement since July 31.

California Jobs shrank the most numerically with an 1197 loss at September 30. Texas Jobs, Florida Jobs and Pennsylvania Jobs showed large losses in numbers in September.  ( I will post analysis of Job Opening Losses during the Obama Administration after unemployment numbers are released for September)

The list of Best and Worst States for Jobs as of September 2009 follows:

30-Sep 31-Jul +/- % Change
1 California 22253 23450 -1197 -5.10%
2 Texas 18219 19373 -1154 -5.96%
3 Florida 14072 14927 -855 -5.73%
4 New York 12410 12667 -257 -2.03%
5 Illinois 11243 11747 -504 -4.29%
6 Pennsylvania 10407 11193 -786 -7.02%
7 New Jersey 7901 7938 -37 -0.47%
8 Ohio 8171 8286 -115 -1.39%
9 Virginia 7162 7547 -385 -5.10%
10 North Carolina 6486 6860 -374 -5.45%
11 Maryland 5928 6128 -200 -3.26%
12 Georgia 5824 6470 -646 -9.98%
13 Arizona 5357 5701 -344 -6.03%
14 Massachusetts 5261 5269 -8 -0.15%
15 Michigan 5177 5443 -266 -4.89%
16 Washington 4407 4940 -533 -10.79%
17 Indiana 5282 5589 -307 -5.49%
18 Missouri 4518 5109 -591 -11.57%
19 Colorado 3815 3937 -122 -3.10%
20 Tennessee 4627 4862 -235 -4.83%
21 Connecticut 3893 4271 -378 -8.85%
22 Wisconsin 3855 4816 -961 -19.95%
23 Minnesota 3494 3754 -260 -6.93%
24 South Carolina 3239 3470 -231 -6.66%
25 Kansas 2816 3281 -465 -14.17%
26 Louisiana 2898 3067 -169 -5.51%
27 Kentucky 3468 3285 183 5.57%
28 Iowa 2268 2460 -192 -7.80%
29 Alabama 2352 2883 -531 -18.42%
30 Oklahoma 2115 2339 -224 -9.58%
31 Nevada 1718 1864 -146 -7.83%
32 Oregon 1808 1986 -178 -8.96%
33 Mississippi 1475 1684 -209 -12.41%
34 New Mexico 1435 1468 -33 -2.25%
35 Utah 1370 1340 30 2.24%
36 Arkansas 1292 1557 -265 -17.02%
37 Nebraska 1135 1139 -4 -0.35%
38 Delaware 996 1030 -34 -3.30%
39 Alaska 659 1058 -399 -37.71%
40 Hawaii 668 748 -80 -10.70%
41 West Virginia 832 914 -82 -8.97%
42 New Hampshire 671 705 -34 -4.82%
43 Rhode Island 633 722 -89 -12.33%
44 South Dakota 497 664 -167 -25.15%
45 Idaho 741 813 -72 -8.86%
46 Vermont 600 608 -8 -1.32%
47 North Dakota 299 465 -166 -35.70%
48 Maine 509 539 -30 -5.57%
49 Montana 458 585 -127 -21.71%
50 Wyoming 326 419 -93 -22.20%
Entire U.S. 217040 231370 -14330 -6.19%

Best and Worst States for Employment

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released state unemployment numbers for August 2009.  State Employment statistics show a continued worsening.  14 States and DC now have unemployment rates of 10% or greater.  North Dakota has the nation’s best state employment rate with 95.7% of its people employed.  All 50 State Unemployment rates are listed below.

The Best States for Employment were North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Utah and Virginia.

The Worst States for Employment were Michigan, Nevada, Rhode Island, Oregon and California.


California has the most unemployed in the nation with 2.248 million people out of work.  The States with Most Unemployment are:

Unemployed Unemp Rate
1 California 2248.0 12.2
2 Texas 966.0 8.0
3 Florida 983.7 10.7
4 New York 834.9 9.0
5 Michigan 736.1 15.2

(Unemployed in thousands)
Source: BLS

List of State Unemployment August 2009

1 NORTH DAKOTA 4.3%
2 SOUTH DAKOTA 4.9%
3 NEBRASKA 5.0%
4 UTAH 6.0%
5 VIRGINIA 6.5%
6 MONTANA 6.6%
6 WYOMING 6.6%
8 IOWA 6.8%
8 OKLAHOMA 6.8%
8 VERMONT 6.8%
11 NEW HAMPSHIRE 6.9%
12 ARKANSAS 7.1%
12 KANSAS 7.1%
14 HAWAII 7.2%
14 MARYLAND 7.2%
16 COLORADO 7.3%
17 NEW MEXICO 7.5%
18 LOUISIANA 7.8%
19 MINNESOTA 8.0%
19 TEXAS 8.0%
21 CONNECTICUT 8.1%
21 DELAWARE 8.1%
23 ALASKA 8.3%
24 MAINE 8.6%
24 PENNSYLVANIA 8.6%
26 WISCONSIN 8.8%
27 IDAHO 8.9%
28 NEW YORK 9.0%
28 WEST VIRGINIA 9.0%
30 ARIZONA 9.1%
30 MASSACHUSETTS 9.1%
32 WASHINGTON 9.2%
33 MISSISSIPPI 9.5%
33 MISSOURI 9.5%
35 NEW JERSEY 9.7%
36 INDIANA 9.9%
37 ILLINOIS 10.0%
38 GEORGIA 10.2%
39 ALABAMA 10.4%
40 FLORIDA 10.7%
41 NORTH CAROLINA 10.8%
41 OHIO 10.8%
41 TENNESSEE 10.8%
44 DC 11.1%
44 KENTUCKY 11.1%
46 SOUTH CAROLINA 11.5%
47 CALIFORNIA 12.2%
47 OREGON 12.2%
49 RHODE ISLAND 12.8%
50 NEVADA 13.2%
51 MICHIGAN 15.2%

Where to Find a Job? Best States for Jobs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the July State unemployment numbers this past week.  More ugly in most states.

The Best States for Jobs are primarily heartland states.  The Best State for Jobs is North Dakota with an unemployment rate of only 4.2%.  Nebraska and South Dakota at 4.9% are the only other states under 5%.  Utah is our fourth Best State for Jobs at 6%.  You will have a decent chance to find a job in Iowa, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Montana.

If you are looking for a job in a state with very high unemployment, you might want to consider a state where the opportunities are broader and fewer people looking.  In other words, consider changing your state.  Michigan at 15.2% is the Worst State for Jobs. Approximately  1 in every 6 people are unemployed.  Rhode Island, Nevada, Oregon and California are some of the Worst States for Jobs with rates all close to 12%.

High unemployment also creates a reinforcing negative cycle.  Unemployment creates downward pressure on real estate, commerce and social institutions.   It does not turn around quickly.  While unemployment is one very important metric in your search for employment, job openings i.e. who is hiring now? should also be considered.  For recent info on job openings by state see Best States for Job Openings

 

July U.S. State Unemployment List

 

1 NORTH DAKOTA 4.2
2 NEBRASKA 4.9
2 SOUTH DAKOTA 4.9
4 UTAH 6
5 IOWA 6.5
5 OKLAHOMA 6.5
5 WYOMING 6.5
8 MONTANA 6.7
9 NEW HAMPSHIRE 6.8
9 VERMONT 6.8
11 VIRGINIA 6.9
12 HAWAII 7
12 NEW MEXICO 7
14 MARYLAND 7.3
15 ARKANSAS 7.4
15 KANSAS 7.4
15 LOUISIANA 7.4
18 COLORADO 7.8
18 CONNECTICUT 7.8
20 TEXAS 7.9
21 MINNESOTA 8.1
22 DELAWARE 8.2
23 ALASKA 8.3
24 MAINE 8.4
25 PENNSYLVANIA 8.5
26 NEW YORK 8.6
27 IDAHO 8.8
27 MASSACHUSETTS 8.8
29 WEST VIRGINIA 9
29 WISCONSIN 9
31 WASHINGTON 9.1
32 ARIZONA 9.2
33 MISSOURI 9.3
33 NEW JERSEY 9.3
35 MISSISSIPPI 9.7
36 ALABAMA 10.2
37 GEORGIA 10.3
38 ILLINOIS 10.4
39 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 10.6
39 INDIANA 10.6
41 FLORIDA 10.7
41 TENNESSEE 10.7
43 KENTUCKY 11
43 NORTH CAROLINA 11
45 OHIO 11.2
46 SOUTH CAROLINA 11.8
47 CALIFORNIA 11.9
47 OREGON 11.9
49 NEVADA 12.5
50 RHODE ISLAND 12.7
51 MICHIGAN 15

Top States for Job Openings

We ran our analysis of Best and Worst States for Job openings again as listed by CareerBuilder.com

Job Openings grew in the last 60 days yet are still 1.57% lower than January. Here are 2 lists:  List of job openings by state since January 29 and Best and Worst States for Jobs since May.

31-Jul Change since1-29 %Change
California 23450 -2405 -9.30%
Texas 19373 -678 -3.38%
Florida 14927 -247 -1.63%
New York 12667 -390 -2.99%
Illinois 11747 -1955 -14.27%
Pennsylvania 11193 52 0.47%
New Jersey 7938 -690 -8.00%
Ohio 8286 10 0.12%
Virginia 7547 361 5.02%
North Carolina 6860 57 0.84%
Maryland 6128 -424 -6.47%
Georgia 6470 478 7.98%
Arizona 5701 -291 -4.86%
Massachusetts 5269 -899 -14.58%
Michigan 5443 -98 -1.77%
Washington 4940 26 0.53%
Indiana 5589 858 18.14%
Missouri 5109 651 14.60%
Colorado 3937 -277 -6.57%
Tennessee 4862 449 10.17%
Connecticut 4271 -260 -5.74%
Wisconsin 4816 502 11.64%
Minnesota 3754 -439 -10.47%
South Carolina 3470 334 10.65%
Kansas 3281 45 1.39%
Louisiana 3067 -427 -12.22%
Kentucky 3285 522 18.89%
Iowa 2460 -39 -1.56%
Alabama 2883 316 12.31%
Oklahoma 2339 70 3.09%
Nevada 1864 -1 -0.05%
Oregon 1986 154 8.41%
Mississippi 1684 136 8.79%
New Mexico 1468 45 3.16%
Utah 1340 104 8.41%
Arkansas 1557 143 10.11%
Nebraska 1139 -91 -7.40%
Delaware 1030 -27 -2.55%
Alaska 1058 253 31.43%
Hawaii 748 -117 -13.53%
West Virginia 914 58 6.78%
New Hampshire 705 11 1.59%
Rhode Island 722 15 2.12%
South Dakota 664 79 13.50%
Idaho 813 148 22.26%
Vermont 608 -51 -7.74%
North Dakota 465 27 6.16%
Maine 539 90 20.04%
Montana 585 77 15.16%
Wyoming 419 46 12.33%
Entire U.S. 231370 -3689 -1.57%

The List of Best States for Jobs since May 31 is below:

31-Jul Change May 31 % change
1 California 23450 1727 7.95%
2 Texas 19373 1033 5.63%
3 Florida 14927 354 2.43%
4 New York 12667 875 7.42%
5 Illinois 11747 921 8.51%
6 Pennsylvania 11193 1340 13.60%
7 New Jersey 7938 178 2.29%
8 Ohio 8286 780 10.39%
9 Virginia 7547 822 12.22%
10 North Carolina 6860 525 8.29%
11 Maryland 6128 -18 -0.29%
12 Georgia 6470 962 17.47%
13 Arizona 5701 577 11.26%
14 Massachusetts 5269 157 3.07%
15 Michigan 5443 428 8.53%
16 Washington 4940 334 7.25%
17 Indiana 5589 1011 22.08%
18 Missouri 5109 839 19.65%
19 Colorado 3937 -206 -4.97%
20 Tennessee 4862 730 17.67%
21 Connecticut 4271 263 6.56%
22 Wisconsin 4816 1106 29.81%
23 Minnesota 3754 219 6.20%
24 South Carolina 3470 247 7.66%
25 Kansas 3281 166 5.33%
26 Louisiana 3067 109 3.68%
27 Kentucky 3285 536 19.50%
28 Iowa 2460 -66 -2.61%
29 Alabama 2883 446 18.30%
30 Oklahoma 2339 169 7.79%
31 Nevada 1864 129 7.44%
32 Oregon 1986 264 15.33%
33 Mississippi 1684 139 9.00%
34 New Mexico 1468 105 7.70%
35 Utah 1340 75 5.93%
36 Arkansas 1557 299 23.77%
37 Nebraska 1139 62 5.76%
38 Delaware 1030 54 5.53%
39 Alaska 1058 86 8.85%
40 Hawaii 748 -39 -4.96%
41 West Virginia 914 130 16.58%
42 New Hampshire 705 11 1.59%
43 Rhode Island 722 72 11.08%
44 South Dakota 664 17 2.63%
45 Idaho 813 171 26.64%
46 Vermont 608 -4 -0.65%
47 North Dakota 465 -96 -17.11%
48 Maine 539 77 16.67%
49 Montana 585 141 31.76%
50 Wyoming 419 36 9.40%
Entire U.S. 231370 18293 8.59%

If interested please read our previous post on Job Openings Shrink in May

Unemployment Up in Every State

The US States continued to see rising unemployment in June. 16 States, if you count DC, now have unemployment rates greater than 10.0%. 38 states and DC saw increases from May. All 50 states and DC have higher unemployment than a year ago.  Our national unemployment rate was 9.5% in June.  The July national jobless numbers will be released on August 7.

Michigan continues to be the Worst State for Jobs with a 15.2% jobless rate. North Dakota is the Best State for Jobs with only a 4.2% unemployment rate.

3 of the 5 largest states by population have rates greater than 10.%  They are California, Florida and Illinois. California has more than twice as many jobless as any other state with 2.146 million jobless in June.  California has  the most unemployed people in the nation.  The next largest amount of unemployed are in Florida with 970,000 jobless in June according to BLS statistics.

We will be releasing shortly our updated analysis of job openings. Unemployment will continue to rise until more job openings start to appear.  List of Best and Worst States for Jobs is below.

1 Michigan 15.2
2 Rhode Island 12.4
3 Oregon 12.2
4 South Carolina 12.1
5 Nevada 12
6 California 11.6
7 Ohio 11.1
8 North Carolina 11
9 District of Columbia 10.9
10 Kentucky 10.9
11 Tennessee 10.8
12 Indiana 10.7
13 Alabama 10.6
14 Florida 10.6
15 Georgia 10.5
16 Illinois 10.5
17 Mississippi 9.8
18 Missouri 9.5
19 West Virginia 9.4
20 New Jersey 9.2
21 Washington 9.2
22 Wisconsin 9.2
23 Arizona 8.9
24 Massachusetts 8.7
25 New York 8.7
26 Maine 8.5
27 Alaska 8.4
28 Delaware 8.4
29 Idaho 8.4
30 Minnesota 8.4
31 Pennsylvania 8.3
32 Connecticut 8
33 Colorado 7.6
34 Texas 7.5
35 Hawaii 7.4
36 Maryland 7.3
37 Arkansas 7.2
38 Virginia 7.2
39 Vermont 7.1
40 Kansas 7
41 Louisiana 6.8
42 New Hampshire 6.8
43 New Mexico 6.8
44 Montana 6.4
45 Oklahoma 6.3
46 Iowa 6.2
47 Wyoming 5.9
48 Utah 5.7
49 South Dakota 5.1
50 Nebraska 5
51 North Dakota 4.2

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are Business Friendly States Best for Jobs?

Editors Note:  If you are looking for a Best State for Jobs start your search with our latest posts:

 

Which States had the Best Employment Markets in 2009? Will 2010 Job Market Improve?

Best States for Job Openings September 2009

Best States for Job Openings and Where to find a Job

For the August 2009 list of Best States for Employment see Best and Worst States for Employment

Click on the category Best and Worst States for Jobs on the right navigation for our collection of articles on Jobs.

In our Job Openings post you will see the trends by state in job openings and what states are currently experiencing increased job openings.  We also have published the List of Job Openings by State

******Editor’s Note:  The rest of this post was published in April 2009 Go to  Best and Worst States   for our latest  *********************

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the March State Unemployment rates this week.   For our August 2009 listing and analysis of Best States for Job Openings click

We now have 8 states with unemployment above 10%.  Michigan is the Worst State for Jobs with an unemployment rate of 12.6%. Oregon is also very bad for jobs with a rate of 12.1%.  California, our most populated state, has an unemployment of 11.2% meaning that 1 out of 9 people are out of work. South Carolina also is a Worst State for Jobs with unemployment of 11.4%.

The  Best State for Jobs in March was North Dakota at 4.2%.  The other Top 5 States for Jobs were Wyoming at 4.5%, Nebraska at 4.6%, South Dakota at 4.9%.  Iowa and Utah were tied for fifth with 5.2% unemployment.

We thought we would take a look this month also at how states that are ranked for small business are doing on the job front.  In theory the better the small business environment the better the job environment.  We used the recently released SBEC report.  See: Best and Worst States for Small Business

The data shows that the Best States for Small Business are not all the Best States for Jobs at this moment.  5 of the top 10 Best States for Small Business, for example, have below average i.e. higher, unemployment. 45th ranked Iowa for example has the 4th best employment in the U.S.

As mentioned in the previous post, the SBEC index is primarily a tax based system and high or lower taxes are not the only reason companies grow and create jobs.  It would appear intuitive over time business friendly states should create more business and jobs. We will continue to watch this during the cycle as the better states may grow first and faster.

           Small
Rank State %Unemp  Biz Rank
1 NORTH DAKOTA 4.2 36
2 WYOMING 4.5 3
3 NEBRASKA 4.6 40
4 SOUTH DAKOTA 4.9 1
5 IOWA 5.2 45
5 UTAH 5.2 24
7 LOUISIANA 5.8 26
8 NEW MEXICO 5.9 27
8 OKLAHOMA 5.9 15
10 KANSAS 6.1 33
10 MONTANA 6.1 31
12 NEW HAMPSHIRE 6.2 25
13 ARKANSAS 6.5 23
14 TEXAS 6.7 5
15 VIRGINIA 6.8 16
16 MARYLAND 6.9 35
16 WEST VIRGINIA 6.9 39
18 IDAHO 7 41
19 HAWAII 7.1 37
20 VERMONT 7.2 43
21 COLORADO 7.5 8
21 CONNECTICUT 7.5 30
23 DELAWARE 7.7 21
24 ARIZONA 7.8 17
24 MASSACHUSETTS 7.8 42
24 NEW YORK 7.8 46
24 PENNSYLVANIA 7.8 29
28 MAINE 8.1 48
29 MINNESOTA 8.2 49
30 NEW JERSEY 8.3 50
31 ALASKA 8.5 7
31 WISCONSIN 8.5 32
33 MISSOURI 8.7 14
34 ALABAMA 9 9
35 ILLINOIS 9.1 18
36 GEORGIA 9.2 19
36 WASHINGTON 9.2 4
38 MISSISSIPPI 9.4 12
39 TENNESSEE 9.6 13
40 FLORIDA 9.7 6
40 OHIO 9.7 10
42 DC 9.8 51
42 KENTUCKY 9.8 28
44 INDIANA 10 22
45 NEVADA 10.4 2
46 RHODE ISLAND 10.5 44
47 NORTH CAROLINA 10.8 38
48 CALIFORNIA 11.2 47
49 SOUTH CAROLINA 11.4 11
50 OREGON 12.1 34
51 MICHIGAN 12.6 20

State Unemployment Up Everywhere in Feb, Michigan tops 12% Unemployed

The February 2009 State Unemployment numbers were released this past week and they were not pretty. Every state in the U.S. saw its unemployment rate increase.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)  also released March Unemployment, along with Feb state data, and the nationwide unemployment rate increased again to 8.5% nationwide.  It was 8.1% in February.

Seven States had unemployment above 10% in February.  Michigan was the Worst State for Jobs with a whopping 12% unemployment number.  South Carolina, Oregon, North Carolina, California Rhode Island and Nevada also qualify as Worst States for Employment as the 6 other states with unemployment above 10% .

The Best State for Jobs based on a low 3.9% unemployment is Wyoming. 4 other states qualify as Best States for Employment with rates still below 5%.  They are:  Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa.

Some of the state year on year changes are quite large.  Unemployment increased by over 100% from last year in Hawaii and Oregon for example.  Of the large states, Texas is holding up the best with unemployment of only 6.2% in February which was below the U.S. Feb average of 8.1%.

State data is released with a one month lag so expect March state unemployment to get even worse as unemployment increased nationwide in March by .4%.

State Feb-08 Feb-09 Change
1 Michigan 7.4 12 4.6
2 South Carolina 5.7 11 5.3
3 Oregon 5.4 10.8 5.4
4 North Carolina 5.2 10.7 5.5
5 California 6.2 10.5 4.3
6 Rhode Island 6.5 10.5 4
7 Nevada 5.5 10.1 4.6
8 District of Columbia 6.1 9.9 3.8
9 Florida 5.2 9.4 4.2
10 Indiana 5 9.4 4.4
11 Ohio 5.9 9.4 3.5
12 Georgia 5.4 9.3 3.9
13 Kentucky 5.6 9.2 3.6
14 Mississippi 5.9 9.1 3.2
15 Tennessee 5.5 9.1 3.6
16 Illinois . 5.9 8.6 2.7
17 Alabama 4.1 8.4 4.3
18 Washington 4.7 8.4 3.7
19 Missouri 5.5 8.3 2.8
20 New Jersey 4.7 8.2 3.5
21 Minnesota 5 8.1 3.1
22 Alaska 6.5 8 1.5
23 Maine 4.9 8 3.1
24 Massachusetts 4.6 7.8 3.2
25 New York 4.6 7.8 3.2
26 Wisconsin 4.5 7.7 3.2
27 Pennsylvania 4.8 7.5 2.7
28 Arizona 4.5 7.4 2.9
29 Connecticut 5.2 7.4 2.2
30 Delaware 4 7.4 3.4
31 Colorado 4.5 7.2 2.7
32 Vermont 4.4 7 2.6
33 Idaho 3.9 6.8 2.9
34 Maryland 3.7 6.7 3
35 Arkansas 4.8 6.6 1.8
36 Virginia 3.5 6.6 3.1
37 Hawaii 3.1 6.5 3.4
38 Texas 4.5 6.5 2
39 Montana 4 6 2
40 West Virginia 4.2 6 1.8
41 Kansas 4 5.9 1.9
42 Louisiana 3.8 5.7 1.9
43 Oklahoma 3.2 5.5 2.3
44 New Mexico 3.8 5.4 1.6
45 New Hampshire 3.7 5.3 1.6
46 Utah 3.3 5.1 1.8
47 Iowa 3.9 4.9 1
48 South Dakota 2.7 4.6 1.9
49 North Dakota 3 4.3 1.3
50 Nebraska 3 4.2 1.2
51 Wyoming 2.8 3.9 1.1
p = preliminary.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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