Unemployment Benefits 2014: States Release Jobless Figures

October 17, 2014 Updated: October 17, 2014

Several states have released their jobless rates for the month.

Texas September jobless rate eases to 5.2 percent
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas unemployment rate declined slightly to 5.2 percent in September as the state’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force topped 13 million for the first time, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

The August statewide jobless rate was 5.3 percent. The nationwide unemployment rate for September was 5.9 percent, a six-year low.

The Texas economy added 36,400 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs last month, according to the TWC.

“The Texas economy, from our employers across all major industries to our skilled and dedicated workers, continues to perform at a record pace,” said Andres Alcantar, TWC chairman. “With a record setting 413,700 jobs added over the year, and our labor force surpassing the 13 million milestone, our state shows how partnerships and a strong business climate fuel job growth for the people of Texas.”

Census figures Friday listed the estimated 2013 Texas population at nearly 26.5 million.

The Midland area had the lowest September jobless rate statewide at 2.6 percent. Unemployment in neighboring Odessa stood at 3.1 percent last month.

The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area had the state’s highest jobless rate in September at 8.5 percent, the TWC reported.

Over the month, nine of 11 major industries showed positive growth, led by leisure and hospitality with 9,300 jobs added in September, commission officials said.

“With so much consistent expansion and hundreds of thousands of jobs added year-over-year, Texas employers should be proud of the tremendous growth they have been able to achieve here,” said Commissioner Hope Andrade.

Utah jobless rate down to 3.5 percent in Sept.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — State officials say Utah unemployment figures ticked down to 3.5 percent in September.

Numbers released Friday by the Department of Workforce Services are down from August, when the state reported a 3.6 percent jobless rate.

Utah stands well below the national September unemployment rate of 5.9 percent.

The report says Utah’s economy added 47,600 jobs in the past 12 months. The fastest-growing sector was construction, which grew 11.8 percent. Information industries grew by 6.5 percent.

An estimated 51,000 people in Utah were actively looking for jobs last month.

Nebraska jobless rate 3.6 pct for 3rd month in row
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s preliminary unemployment rate for September was 3.6 percent, matching the adjusted rates for August and July, the state said in a report released Friday.

The Nebraska Labor Department report said the rate was three-tenths of a point under the September 2013 rate of 3.9 percent and remained well below the preliminary national unemployment rate of 5.9 percent in September. Nebraska had the second lowest unemployment rate in the nation in August, the last month for which comparative figures are available from the U.S. Labor Department, trailing only North Dakota, which is benefiting from an oil boom.

“Along with the year-over-year decline in the unemployment rate, the number of workers employed has increased since September of 2013,” said acting Nebraska Labor Commissioner John Albin.

Last month Nebraska listed 983,330 people as employed, compared with 980,816 in August and 982,609 in September 2013. There were 1,019,628 people in the state labor force last month, the report said, compared with 1,017,722 in August and 1,022,294 in September 2013.

Omaha’s preliminary unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent in September, down three-tenths of a point from August and down three-tenths of a point from 3.9 percent in September 2013. Lincoln’s rate dropped two-tenths of a point in September, to 2.8 percent from 3 percent in August. The new figure is three-tenths of a point under the September 2013 rate of 3.1 percent.

The unemployment rates for Lincoln and Omaha are not seasonally adjusted, so they cannot be directly compared with the state unemployment rate.

Here are all preliminary area labor market unemployment rates for September, followed by the revised August rates:

—Beatrice: 4.0, 3.6

—Columbus: 2.7, 2.9

—Fremont: 3.3, 3.7

—Grand Island: 3.2, 3.3

—Hastings: 2.9, 3.1

—Kearney: 2.4, 2.7

—Lexington: 3.2, 3.8

—Norfolk: 2.8, 3.0

—North Platte: 2.7, 2.9

—Red Willow: 2.7, 3.1

—Scottsbluff: 3.5, 3.8

Florida’s jobless rate dipping slightly
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s new unemployment rate is slightly lower than it was last month, although the rate remains higher than the national average.

The state’s unemployment rate in September was 6.1 percent, or a drop of 0.2 percent from the previous month.

The unemployment rate has been relatively for most of the year. The national average meanwhile has dropped to 5.9 percent.

These new numbers are the last round of unemployment statistics to be released before Election Day.

The unemployment rate is important for Gov. Rick Scott because he campaigned in 2010 on a pledge to add 700,000 jobs above the 1 million jobs that would occur with normal growth.

Scott has maintained that his push for tax cuts and cuts in government spending have helped the economy.

Nevada jobless rate down to 7.3 percent in Sept.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since July 2008.

The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported Friday that the state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 7.3 percent in September.

The state’s job count is up 38,000 compared with last September, even though it’s down by 1,800 jobs compared with this August.

State economist Bill Anderson says construction is the fastest-growing sector in the state and is up nearly 13 percent over last year. Mining and government are the only sectors that lost jobs year-over-year.

Regional jobless rates, which aren’t seasonally adjusted, also fell. Las Vegas’ unemployment rate was 7.1 percent in September, while Reno’s rate was 6.4 percent and Carson City’s rate was 7.1 percent.

Ohio’s September unemployment rate down
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s unemployment rate fell slightly last month after holding steady for two months in a row, according to state numbers released Friday.

The state’s jobless rate was 5.6 percent for September, down from 5.7 percent in both July and August, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The Ohio unemployment rate was slightly better than the national rate, which was 5.9 percent for September.

Seasonally adjusted non-agriculture employment increased by 6,000 during the month in the state — from 5,297,400 in August to 5,303,400 in September.

The number of unemployed workers was 319,000 last month, down 5,000 from 324,000 in August, according to state figures.

The number of unemployed has decreased by 110,000 in the past 12 months. The unemployment rate in September 2013 was 7.4 percent.

The 5.6 percent unemployment rate in September was the lowest since May and June, when it was 5.5 percent. The average jobless rate for all of last year was 7.4 percent.

Gains in September were seen in manufacturing and construction, with mining and logging unchanged. Losses were seen in professional and business services, educational and health services, and leisure and hospitality.

Government employment increased as gains in state government (6,400) outweighed job losses in local government (3,400). Federal government employment did not change over the month.

Alabama unemployment down to 6.6 percent
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s unemployment rate has declined to 6.6 percent.

Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday the September rate is an improvement from 6.9 percent in August.

The preliminary numbers show Alabama had about 6,600 fewer unemployed people than in August. But the preliminary figures also show that the number of employed Alabamians declined by about 1,600 and the civilian labor force shrank by nearly 8,200.

Alabama’s unemployment rate is higher than the 6.4 percent recorded in September 2013, and it remains above the national unemployment figure of 5.9 percent.

Alabama Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington says every Alabama county registered a decline in unemployment in September.