We keep getting good news about employment and the labor market. But we rarely see the less optimistic numbers.
Yellen’s Labor Dashboard (see here) is looking strong with all but 3 of the 9 components above pre-recession levels:
An index derived from the percentage of U.S states with rising unemployment looks worrying. Whilst the national unemployment figures seem fine, the population demographics of some large states seems to be masking underlying weakness at a state-level. Again, the broadness of this index makes for worrying numbers:
Here is another way of looking at the state-level unemployment numbers. The black line is derived from simply averaging up the unemployment rate from each individual state whilst the green line is the actual % of states with unemployment rates that are rising.
That means 75% of US States have unemployment levels higher than the best (lowest) numbers yet witnessed.
In summary, it would appear that several large-population states may be enjoying employment gains, but large swathes of the U.S are not.
NOTE : The state-level unemployment metrics shown above are excellent early-warning signals and are included in our highly comprehensive U.S Long-Leading Economic Index