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News from EPI Hurricane Irma creates outlier in state unemployment and jobs data

The State and Regional Employment report for September, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows most states economies continue their slow progress with falling or stagnant unemployment rates, and continuing to add jobs. The significant exception was hurricane affected Florida which saw a significant outflow of more than 75,000 jobs.

“Most states continued their slow-but-steady progress towards full economic recovery in September,” said Jones. “While the effects of Hurricane Irma caused a significant loss of jobs in Florida, there’s every reason to believe that the state’s economy will return to normalcy soon.”

The effects of Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas before the reference period, do not seem to appear in this report, Jones notes. Meanwhile Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria, is not included in the survey.

From June to September, 37 states added jobs, with Idaho (0.9 percent), California (0.8 percent), Nevada (0.8 percent), Pennsylvania (0.8 percent), and Vermont (0.8 percent) making the largest percentage job gains. Over that same period, employment fell in 13 states and the District of Columbia, up from only four states in last month’s report. The largest job losses occurred in Florida (-1.0 percent), Wyoming (-0.6 percent), Alaska (-0.5 percent), Connecticut (-0.5 percent), and Louisiana (-0.4 percent).

From June to September, unemployment fell in 25 states. Alabama (-0.8 percentage points), Tennessee (-0.6 percentage points), Texas (-0.6 percentage points), Connecticut (-0.4 percentage points), and Massachusetts (-0.4 percentage points) saw the largest declines in unemployment. Over the same months, the unemployment rate increased in 17 states and the District of Columbia. The largest increases in unemployment rates occurred in Louisiana (0.8 percentage points), New Jersey (0.6 percentage points), Michigan (0.5 percentage points), Oregon (0.5 percentage points), and West Virginia (0.5 percentage points). In eight states the unemployment rate remain unchanged: Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.