Regional and state unemployment rates changed little in May. Twenty-five states had unemployment rate decreases, 17 states had increases, and eight states and the District of Columbia had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Forty-one states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, four states had increases, and five states had no change. The national jobless rate was essentially unchanged from April at 7.6 percent but was 0.6 percentage point lower than in May 2012.
In May 2013, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 33 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in 17 states. The largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in Ohio (+32,100), Texas (+19,500), and Michigan (+18,100). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in Pennsylvania (-9,200), followed by South Carolina (-7,700) and Florida (-6,200).
Over the year, 31 states had statistically significant changes in employment, all of which were positive. The largest over-the-year job increase occurred in Texas (+324,700), followed by California (+252,100) and Florida (+122,500).
In May, the West continued to have the highest regional unemployment rate, 7.8 percent, while the Midwest and South had the lowest rates, 7.2 percent each.
Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific continued to have the highest jobless rate, 8.2 percent in May. The West North Central again had the lowest rate, 5.4 percent.
Nevada had the highest unemployment rate among the states in May, 9.5 percent. The next highest rates were in Illinois and Mississippi, 9.1 percent each. North Dakota again had the lowest jobless rate, 3.2 percent. In total, 21 states had jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 7.6 percent, 8 states and the District of Columbia had measurably higher rates, and 21 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.