Regional Employment Grew in March, Led by Florida and Georgia
On April 19, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the March regional and state employment and unemployment report. Data in the report show that Sixth District states added a seasonally adjusted 45,500 payrolls in March, and the aggregated regional unemployment rate dropped 0.1 percentage point, to 7.7 percent, with results generally positive across southeastern states (see the chart). The United States as a whole added 88,000 payrolls in March 2013, which means the Sixth District states accounted for a large portion of the national gain.
Notably, February payroll gains for the region were revised down by 11,800, to a new level of 29,800. Nonetheless, the three-month average employment gain for the region remained a healthy 34,500.
Sixth District highlights
- All states within the Sixth District with the exception of Tennessee added payrolls in March 2013 (see the table). The largest gains were in Florida (32,700, highest in the nation) and Georgia (13,600, third-highest in the nation).
- Leisure and hospitality (12,500) added the most jobs in Florida, followed by trade, transportation, and utilities (6,600) and construction (5,500).
- Payroll increases in Georgia came from professional and business services (6,700), trade, transportation, and utilities (4,200) and construction (3,100).
- Most of the sectors in Tennessee cut jobs over the month, with the leaders being professional and business services (down 3,300) and trade, transportation and utilities (down 2,400).
- Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi experienced only small increases in payrolls.
- The unemployment rate decreased in Florida (down 0.3 percentage point), Georgia (down 0.2 percentage point), and Mississippi (down 0.2 percentage point). It was unchanged in Alabama and increased in Louisiana (up 0.2 percentage point) and Tennessee (up 0.1 percentage point; see the chart).
By Neil Desai, a senior economic analyst in the Atlanta Fed’s research department
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