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Economy in Brief

State Labor Markets in September
by Charles Steindel  October 20, 2020

State labor market data results in September were somewhat less uniform than in prior months. 30 states had statistically significant drops in their unemployment rates from August to September, with New Jersey's 4.4 percentage-point drop being the largest. 8 states, though, saw statistically significant declines in unemployment, with Hawaii's 2.1 percentage point increase the largest. Unemployment rates in September ranged widely, from South Dakota's 4.1 percent to Hawaii's 15.1. 4 other states—including California—still had unemployment rates above 10 percent.

30 states had statistically significant increases in payrolls in September. New York was the only state to see a gain above 100,000, while New Jersey had the higher percentage gain. 3 states saw statistically significant drops in jobs.

The sharp drop in the national labor force in September was concentrated in three states: New Jersey, New York, and Texas. New York, as well as New Jersey, saw a pronounced drop in its unemployment rate, but Texas's rose by 1.5 percentage points—resident employment is estimated to have fallen by 375,000 in Texas, even though payrolls were up more than 40,000.

Looking at the industry composition, the rebound in leisure and hospitality employment ebbed in most states, though New York and New Jersey. Also, government employment was flat or down in most, though again New York and New Jersey were exceptions.

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