Payrolls increase in 32 US states

Payrolls climbed in 32 US states in July, and the unemployment rate climbed in 28, indicating progress in the labour market remains uneven.

By Shobhana Chandra (Bloomberg)

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Published: Tue 20 Aug 2013, 10:52 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 4:48 PM

US states with some of the biggest gains in payrolls also showed an increase in joblessness. — Bloomberg

California led the nation with a 38,100 gain in payrolls, followed by Georgia with 30,900 more jobs, figures from the Labour Department showed in Washington on Monday.

Economic growth is projected to accelerate in the final six months of 2013 as the effects of federal budget cuts and higher taxes fade and job- and home-price gains spread across wider swathes of the US. Faster hiring would help spur consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 per cent of the economy.

“There’s demand for workers,” Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh, said before the report. “We’ll see some pickup in the economy as the fiscal drag fades in the second half.”

Nationwide figures released on August 2 showed the economy added 162,000 workers in July after 188,000 the prior month. The jobless rate dropped to 7.4 per cent from 7.6 per cent.

State and local employment data are derived independently from the national statistics, which are typically released on the first Friday of every month. The state figures are subject to larger sampling errors because they come from smaller surveys, thus making the national figures more reliable, according to the government’s Bureau of Labour Statistics.

The differences can be seen in the unemployment figures, with the state data showing the national average rising to 7.5 per cent last month from 7.4 per cent in June. Additionally, states with some of the biggest gains in payrolls also showed an increase in joblessness.

The unemployment rate in California climbed to 8.7 per cent in July from 8.5 per cent the prior month, while Georgia’s shot up to 8.8 per cent from 8.5 per cent in June. Other states showing statistically significant increases in their jobless rates included Alaska, Iowa, Nebraska, Vermont and Virginia. Mississippi was the only state showing a significant drop, with the rate falling to 8.5 per cent from nine per cent.

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