Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| May 19 2023

State Labor Markets in April

Marked changes in state payrolls were limited in April. 5 states saw statistically significant increases, with California up by 67,000 and Indiana seeing a .5 percent increase. Rhode Island had a sharp .8 percent decline, and a few other states (and DC) had insignificant decreases.

A full 14 states had statistically significant drops in unemployment from March to April. Oregon’s .4 percentage point decline (coming on the heels of a .3 percentage point drop in March) was the largest. Nevada continues to have the highest unemployment rate in the nation, at 5.4 percent. California and DC are the only other places with unemployment more than a point higher than the national averages of 3.4 percent. Alabama, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, both Dakotas, and Utah are more than point under the national figures, with South Dakota remaining at 1.9 percent. Indeed, 17 states, including Florida have unemployment rates below 3 percent. On the flip side, along with California’s 4.5 percent rate, New York and Texas both have jobless figures of 4 percent.

Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate remained at 6.0 percent, but its job count moved above 950,000 for the first time since 2009. Payrolls on the island had (excepting the Maria and COVID shocks) been under 900,000, but have been on a steady increase in this expansion. The record high was October 2004’s 1,059,200. However, Puerto Rico’s job markets has shifted dramatically since then: private payrolls are now only 400 shy of their peak.

  • Charles Steindel has been editor of Business Economics, the journal of the National Association for Business Economics, since 2016. From 2014 to 2021 he was Resident Scholar at the Anisfield School of Business, Ramapo College of New Jersey. From 2010 to 2014 he was the first Chief Economist of the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, with responsibilities for economic and revenue projections and analysis of state economic policy. He came to the Treasury after a long career at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he played a major role in forecasting and policy advice and rose to the rank of Senior Vice-President. He has served in leadership positions in a number of professional organizations. In 2011 he received the William F. Butler Award from the New York Association for Business Economics, is a fellow of NABE and of the Money Marketeers of New York University, and has received several awards for articles published in Business Economics. In 2017 he delivered Ramapo College's Sebastian J. Raciti Memorial Lecture. He is a member of the panel for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Survey of Professional Forecasters and of the Committee on Research in Income and Wealth. He has published papers in a range of areas, and is the author of Economic Indicators for Professionals: Putting the Statistics into Perspective. He received his bachelor's degree from Emory University, his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is a National Association for Business Economics Certified Business EconomistTM.

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