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Revised U.S. State Employment Data Show Even Gloomier Picture

Published: 3/11/2009
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics published its annual benchmark of state employment data today, and showed that most states had lower employment in December 2008 than initial data indicated.

As expected, today's release revealed that most states actually had lower employment at the end of 2008 than initial data had indicated. Fully 31 states showed lower employment in December, while 19 states and the District of Columbia had an upward revision. The sum of states figure was revised down by 680,100 jobs, about 0.5% of total employment. The three largest revisions in absolute terms came in states that have become accustomed to the forefront of negative news of late: Florida (down 208,100), California (down 186,200), and Ohio (down 57,900). Maryland was fourth largest, with a downward revision of 41,900, and Illinois rounded out the top five with 36,300. For these states, the revision translates into a much sharper decline heading into 2009. For example, initial data for California showed 257,000 jobs lost year-over-year in December 2008. The decline now measures 494,000. Among the states that saw upward revisions the largest was New York, where nonfarm employment in December 2008 was revised upward by 52,300 jobs. The next largest upward revisions went to Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

The benchmark revision is performed once a year to historical employment data to improve accuracy. Monthly state employment figures are initially generated using a survey of sample businesses combined with statistical techniques. The benchmarked data are based on employment records for all businesses, so is a more accurate picture of employment by state. The new benchmark data roughly cover from July 2007 to June 2008, with some differences among states. The sample data from July 2008 to December 2008 have also been revised, and will ultimately be benchmarked in March 2010.

Nonfarm Employment and Revision

 

December 2008

Revision

Revision (%)

Florida

7,576,100

-208,100

-2.7

California

14,727,400

-186,200

-1.3

Ohio

5,271,800

-57,900

-1.1

Maryland

2,568,400

-41,900

-1.6

Illinois

5,849,500

-36,300

-0.6

Virginia

3,711,200

-32,700

-0.9

Georgia

4,013,600

-27,700

-0.7

Nevada

1,235,600

-25,500

-2.0

Alabama

1,953,500

-22,800

-1.2

South Carolina

1,884,100

-19,800

-1.0

Kentucky

1,823,800

-19,400

-1.1

North Carolina

4,048,200

-19,300

-0.5

New Jersey

4,000,500

-19,100

-0.5

Tennessee

2,726,100

-16,600

-0.6

Michigan

4,038,100

-16,500

-0.4

Massachusetts

3,230,200

-13,900

-0.4

Colorado

2,320,600

-11,800

-0.5

Delaware

421,900

-9,900

-2.3

Arizona

2,534,100

-9,800

-0.4

New Hampshire

638,800

-8,400

-1.3

Nebraska

963,700

-6,600

-0.7

Oregon

1,689,600

-5,600

-0.3

Vermont

297,800

-4,900

-1.6

Iowa

1,508,900

-4,400

-0.3

Missouri

2,770,900

-3,800

-0.1

Connecticut

1,673,900

-3,300

-0.2

Maine

604,800

-3,300

-0.5

Hawaii

609,400

-3,200

-0.5

Mississippi

1,127,200

-1,200

-0.1

Louisiana

1,948,600

-400

0.0

South Dakota

411,400

-400

-0.1

Montana

444,700

1,500

0.3

Minnesota

2,722,300

1,900

0.1

West Virginia

757,400

2,100

0.3

Rhode Island

471,200

2,400

0.5

Texas

10,631,300

2,500

0.0

District of Columbia

704,700

2,600

0.4

Idaho

631,600

2,800

0.5

New Mexico

843,100

3,300

0.4

Washington

2,923,700

3,500

0.1

Alaska

324,300

4,100

1.3

Kansas

1,389,600

4,100

0.3

Wyoming

303,100

4,100

1.4

Arkansas

1,192,900

5,200

0.4

Oklahoma

1,595,600

5,800

0.4

North Dakota

368,700

6,600

1.8

Utah

1,246,700

9,000

0.7

Wisconsin

2,832,800

13,300

0.5

Indiana

2,899,400

16,400

0.6

Pennsylvania

5,749,200

17,100

0.3

New York

8,713,500

52,300

0.6

by Luke Tilley
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