U.S. Labor Market Remains Steady Post Hurricanes


October 2017

By Selina Stoller, SAF Holdings, LLC

Although major hurricanes caused a dip in employment in September, the U.S. labor market has remained steady ever since.

According to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Labor, unemployment rates were lower in September in 11 states, higher in 4 states and stable in 35 states and the District of Columbia.

This data comes after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.  Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas during September. Hurricane Harvey itself caused unprecedented, catastrophic flooding and damage.

It was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, which ended a record 12-year period with no major hurricanes in the U.S. In terms of economic losses, weather and insurance experts expected Harvey to be one of the costliest storms in U.S. history.

Despite the fears surrounding job rates and the major hurricanes, twenty-two states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, one state had an increase, and 27 states and the District had little or no change.

The national unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point from August to 4.2 percent and was 0.7 points lower than in September 2016.

Unemployment North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate in September, 2.4 percent, closely followed by Colorado and Hawaii, 2.5 percent each.

The rates in Idaho (2.8 percent) and Tennessee (3.0 percent) set new series lows. Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 7.2 percent.

In total, 15 states had unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 4.2 percent, 13 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 22 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

  • 23 Oct, 2017
  • Josh Smith

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