U.S. State Unemployment Rates In September 2014

In September, the unemployment rate decreased in 31 U.S. states, increased in 8 states, and was unchanged in 11 states and the District of Columbia.

The unemployment rate is higher than a year ago in 5 states: Iowa (4.6% vs 4.5%), Wyoming (4.7% vs 4.6%), Alabama (6.6% vs 6.4%), West Virginia (6.6% vs 6.4%), and Alaska (6.8% vs 6.6%).

Recall that the national jobless rate in September was 5.9%.

State Unemployment Rates

Weekly Initial Jobless Claims Drop To 264k

Initial jobless claims for the week ending October 11 were a seasonally adjusted 264k, down from the prior week’s revised reading of 287k. Not seasonally adjusted, jobless claims for the week were 272k.

Jobless Claims

Individual states that had changes in claims of more than 1k (not seasonally adjusted):

States

The 4-week moving average of initial jobless claims was 284k.

Jobless Claims 4W

The number of unemployment insurance recipients, or continuing claims, for regular state programs was 2.389 million, up from the previous week’s revised reading of 2.382 million.

Unemployment Insurance Recipients

The insured unemployment rate, which is the number of unemployment insurance recipients as a share of covered employment, was 1.80%, unchanged from the week prior.

Insured Unemployment Rate

90.54% of all U.S. jobs are covered by state unemployment insurance programs.

Covered Employment

Of the 9.262 million Americans currently unemployed, 25.79% receive unemployment insurance.

UI Recipients Share

Jobless claims and the unemployment rate:

Labor Market

Weekly Initial Jobless Claims At 287k

Initial jobless claims for the week ending October 4 were a seasonally adjusted 287k, down from the prior week’s revised reading of 288k. Not seasonally adjusted, jobless claims for the week were 258k.

Claims

Individual states that had changes in claims of more than 1k (not seasonally adjusted):

States

The 4-week moving average of initial jobless claims was 288k.

Claims 4W

The number of unemployment insurance recipients, or continuing claims, for regular state programs was 2.381 million, down from the previous week’s revised reading of 2.402 million.

UI Recipients

The insured unemployment rate, which is the number of unemployment insurance recipients as a share of covered employment, was 1.80%, lower than the 1.82% the week prior.

IU Rate

90.14% of all U.S. jobs are covered by state unemployment insurance programs.

Covered

Of the 9.262 million Americans currently unemployed, 25.71% receive unemployment insurance.

UI Share

Jobless claims and the unemployment rate:

Labor Market

U.S. Hiring Dips, Job Openings Soar

U.S. job openings increased in August to 4.835 million from 4.605 million in July. Hires decreased to 4.640 million from 4.934 million.

Hires and Openings

The number of unemployed workers per job opening increased to 1.98 from 2.10.

Workers per opening

There were 4.440 million separations in August. Quits decreased to 2.473 million from 2.547 million, layoffs and discharges decreased to 1.580 million from 1.726 million, and other separations increased to 0.387 million from 0.356 million.

Separations

The ratio of quits to layoffs and discharges increased to 1.57 from 1.48, which is a positive sign and indicates people are more comfortable leaving their jobs.

Ratio of Quits

Subtracting total separations from hires, net labor turnover for the month is suggested to be an increase of 200k jobs.

Hires and Separations

That 200k is slightly higher than the 180k nonfarm payrolls added as reported in the employment situation release.

Net Turnover

Variation

The Beveridge Curve shows the relationship between the unemployment rate and the job openings rate (job openings as a percentage of the total employed plus job openings).

Beveridge Curve

Who Gets Paid First In A Municipal Bankruptcy?

CALPERS

One of the unforeseen consequences of the financial crisis has been the phenomenon of municipal governments in distress. Prior to the financial crisis, Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy was a topic hardly germane to municipal investors: it happened sometimes, usually for one-off reasons (e.g., a legal judgment or poor internal controls) but was not widespread. The infrequency of municipal distress made municipal bankruptcy an issue that was overlooked by investors, and untested. Annual Chapter 9 filings number in the single digits and are concentrated in small, nonrated issues; in contrast, there are roughly 10,000 Chapter 11 filings annually.

The biggest “credit” issue is the municipal capital structure, and the recent emergence of pension obligations and other post-employment benefits as long-term liabilities – the result of poor stock market performance and the graying of the population. Since this is a new problem, it raises unanswered questions. In the case of Detroit and California municipalities, which used bankruptcy as a tool to restructure, we’ve asked ourselves, “Who gets paid first in line in a bankruptcy?”

A Win for Muni Investors

U.S. Economy Adds 248k Jobs In September

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that 248k nonfarm payrolls were added during the month of September. This follows revised payrolls gains of 180k in August and 243k in July.

NFP

A bulk of the August job gains came in the Professional Services industry.

Payrolls This Month

The Education and Health Services industry, along with the Leisure and Hospitality and Professional Services industries, have contributed the most to the job gains over the last 8 years. Although Construction and Manufacturing employment both grew in September, theses sectors have had the most difficulty recovering from the economic downturn.

Industry Change

The household survey shows that 671k full-time jobs were added in September, while part-time employment decreased by 384k. Since November 2007, when the household survey showed peak employment, full-time jobs have decreased by 2.6 million and part-time jobs have increased by 2.6 million.

FTPT Change

Part-time employees made up 18.66% of the workforce in September, down from 18.96% in August.

All Employed

Those part-time for economic reasons, workers who would prefer to be full-time but are involuntarily part-time, as a share of those part-time for noneconomic reasons decreased to 36.3% from 37.3%.

Economic Reasons

The unemployment rate (U-3) was 5.9% in September, down from 6.1% in August. The broader underemployment rate (U-6) decreased to 11.8% from 12.0%.

Unemployment Rate

Youth unemployment continues to be volatile.

U-3 Age

Unemployment for those less than a high school diploma decreased to 8.4%.

U-3 Education

Blacks continue to experience the highest unemployment rate at 11.0%.

U-3 Race

The labor force participation rate was 62.7%, down from 62.8%, while the employment-to-population ratio was unchanged at 59.0%.

Participation

Participation among men decreased to 69.1% from 69.2% and participation among women decreased to 56.7% from 56.9%.

LFP Sex

The participation rate for prime age workers (25-54) decreased to 80.7% from 81.1%.

Participation Age

Since the total participation rate peaked in August 2008, participation has only risen in the 55+ age bracket.

Participation Change

Average weekly hours worked by production and supervisory employees were 33.7 from 33.8, while average hourly earnings were unchanged at $20.67. This decreased average weekly earnings to $696.58, up 2.6% from a year ago.

Earnings

Hours

Average duration of unemployment in September was 31.5 weeks, down from 331.7 in August and the historical high of 40.7 in 2011, but still elevated by historical standards.

Duration

Of those unemployed, 47.2% have been so for 15 weeks or longer.

Duration Distribution

Overall, this was a mixed employment report. Payrolls growth was mildly strong but with not great industry mix, the full-time/part-time split was encouragingly positive for a second month in a row, the unemployment rate declined but once again in tandem with a drop in participation, unemployment duration decreased but only marginally, and average earnings show no signs of acceleration.

Weekly Initial Jobless Claims Decrease To 287k

Initial jobless claims for the week ending September 27 were a seasonally adjusted 287k, down from the prior week’s revised reading of 295k. Not seasonally adjusted, jobless claims for the week were 227k.

Jobless Claims

Individual states that had changes in claims of more than 1k (not seasonally adjusted):

States

The 4-week moving average of initial jobless claims was 295k.

Jobless Claims 4W

The number of unemployment insurance recipients, or continuing claims, for regular state programs was 2.398 million, down from the previous week’s revised reading of 2.443 million.

UI Recipients

The insured unemployment rate, which is the number of unemployment insurance recipients as a share of covered employment, was 1.81%, lower than the 1.85% the week prior.

Insured Unemployment

90.28% of all U.S. jobs are covered by state unemployment insurance programs.

Covered as Share

Of the 9.591 million Americans currently unemployed, 25.00% receive unemployment insurance.

UI as Share

Jobless claims and the unemployment rate:

Labor Market