North Dakota’s Jobless Rate Is the Lowest No Longer – Real Time Economics

North Dakota’s jobless rate rose to 2.9% in February from 2.8% in what the Bureau of Labor Statistics called “the only significant over-the-month rate increase” for any state. 

For the first time since the depths of the U.S. financial crisis, North Dakota no longer boasts the nation’s lowest jobless rate, a potential hint of trouble for energy-rich states bolstered by an oil boom that has since gone bust.

The shale-rich state was replaced by Nebraska, whose unemployment rate fell to 2.7%. North Dakota’s rate rose to 2.9% from 2.8% in what the Bureau of Labor Statistics called “the only significant over-the-month rate increase” for any state. The last time the state did not have the lowest rate in the nation was October 2008, the Labor Department said.

Recent data on metro area unemployment showed jobs in the oil patch are still resistant to the 60% plunge in oil prices that began last summer, with Midland, Texas, showing the lowest jobless rate at 2.6%.

At the opposite extreme among states, Nevada had the highest jobless rate in February at 7.1%, while the nation’s capital suffered even worse employment conditions with an unemployment rate of 7.8%.

Broader trends mirrored the national data showing an improved but still mixed picture. Nonfarm payroll employment in February increased in 36 states, fell in 13 states and was unchanged in Wyoming, the report said.

The Midwest had the lowest regional jobless rate at 5.1%, while the West had the highest at 6.1%.

Over the past year, employment increased in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

The national jobless rate stood at 5.5% in February, down from 6.7% a year earlier and from a postrecession peak of 10% in late 2009.

Related reading:

North Dakota Unemployment Still Lowest in Nation Despite Oil-Price Crash

Oil Patch Jobs Resistant to Price Plunge For Now

A Better Gauge of Labor Slack May Be the Gap Between Two Jobless Rates

Some Fed Officials Think the U.S. Economy Is Already at Full Employment

Economists React to the February Jobs Report: ‘Full Employment!’

February’s Jobs Report in 10 Charts



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27 March 2015 | 6:03 pm – Source:


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