Unemployment is falling in a majority of US states

The unemployment rate fell in a majority of US states in July, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics said today (release). The US labour market is a key factor for the Federal Reserve when deciding the timeframe for the tapering off of its bond buying programme.

The unemployment rate fell in 36 states, increased in nine, and remained unchanged in five, compared with July 2012. On a monthly basis, however, the rate increased across 28 states, fell in eight, and remained unchanged in 14 compared.

The national jobless rate was 7.4 per cent in July, down 0.8 percentage points annually. The West continued to have the highest regional unemployment rate at 7.9 per cent (falling 1.4 percentage points year-on-year), while the Midwest and South had the lowest at 7.3 per cent (falling by 0.8 and 0.5 percentage points respectively).

By state, Nevada had the highest unemployment rate (9.5 per cent), while North Dakota had the lowest (3.0 per cent). The biggest annual change was in California, where unemployment fell 1.9 percentage points.

Meanwhile, nonfarm employment increased in 32 states, fell in 17 and remained unchanged in one.