Unemployment Dropped In Most States In December, But Will It Last?

For everyone who so over these economic doldrums, the latest Labor Department jobs data for December 2011 may prove to be a bit of a belated holiday gift. Let’s just hope that gift doesn’t end up being returned in a couple months.

According to the newest numbers, 37 states and the District of Columbia saw decreases in the unemployment rate in December. And unlike in some previous months, that drop wasn’t all due to people falling off the unemployment rolls because they had been without work for so long.

Instead, the drop in jobless claims resulted from employers adding jobs in 25 states and DC. Of course, many retailers and retail-support industries tend to hire on temporary staff during the holidays so the overall dip in unemployment may be seasonal.

Nevada (12.6% unemployment) and California (11.1%) remain the states struggling the most with jobless claims, while North Dakota is the only state to be below the 4% threshold with 3.3% unemployment.

Check out the interactive state-by-state map over at WSJ.com.


Edit Your Comment

  1. rmorin says:


    It’s a good read, and explains why we have lost manufacturing in this country. (Hint: It’s not as simple as wages!)

    • RvLeshrac says:

      We lost manufacturing in this country because the “job creators” stopped creating jobs when they realised they could make more money by outsourcing to countries which use what is functionally slave labour. And you don’t have to worry about any of those pesky things like “rights.” If you don’t want to pay a worked any more, you can just beat them to death. Worked was ground up in a machine because you have absolutely no safety controls or procedures? Don’t worry about it! Just give his family the equivalent of two or three units’ profit and continue making stuff! Can’t afford decent materials? Just use materials tainted with heavy metals and radioactive matter!

      China isn’t “more efficient” because they’re naturally so. They’re “more efficient” because that’s what happens when you move every single manufacturing sector to the same area. If we charged massive import tariffs on everything from China, the factories would move back to the US and we’d be exactly as efficient.

  2. crispyduck13 says:

    “Let’s just hope that gift doesn’t end up being returned in a couple months.”

    I was under the impression that this exact same thing happened last year, December unemployment dropped and then went back up again after all the seasonals were layed off. I thought this was an established yearly trend. Anyone have a graph??

    • DarthCoven says:

      If you go to the WSJ page linked in the article it states that numbers are “seasonally adjusted”, so they don’t give seasonal jobs as much weight as permanent jobs.

      • TuxthePenguin says:

        No, seasonally adjusted means that they compare the data to the last few years and adjust based on that.

  3. Mark702 says:

    December has Christmas. The temp jobs that people started in November and dead by February. Obama isn’t to thank for this by a long shot.

  4. chargerRT says:

    Unemployment dropped in Florida partly because of changes in reporting it, thanks to the hoops put into place by Rick “Great” Scott. People applying for unemployment must have internet access and computer literacy, where for generations, they’ve been allowed to call and stop by the unemployment office. Now they have to do everything online, including a demoralizing, time consuming aptitude test, to suggest what kind of work you can try to do next. Libraries around here have strict time limits on computer use, so you can’t do it there. And it goes on and on. Many people probably just give up and don’t receive the benefits to which they’re entitled.

    • Cosmo_Kramer says:

      I find it hard to believe that someone would give up that much money because they were demoralized by a test and they don’t have a computer.

  5. jrwn says:

    Is this because underemployment (those who have quit looking) increased? I’m lazy and didn’t bother looking into it.

  6. shibotu says:

    If the jobs aren’t for a living wage it doesn’t help much anyway, more than 1 in 5 Americans are now working for mininum wage or slightly more:


  7. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    Nevada (12.6% unemployment) and California (11.1%) remain the states struggling the most with jobless claims

    California clearly isn’t taxing its working citizens enough. A tax increase would fix this issue right quick. Damn greedy employed people.

  8. Potted-Plant says:

    So no change in one state, 25 states gained jobs, and 24 states lost jobs. Wow. Half the country lost more jobs, and this is somehow good news?

  9. prizgrizbiz says:

    I’m almost surprised North Dakota is that high. Lots of jobs here to be had. 3% must be about the floor with normal job fluctuations and turnover.

  10. Dallas_shopper says:

    7.8% in Texas.

    Hear that everyone else? Stop moving here! PLEASE!

  11. amuro98 says:

    Um, financial analysts already showed that the gains last month were solely due to the seasonal temp jobs, and that actual gains were pretty much 0% – which makes sense. No sane company or job searcher is going to start a new permanent job in the middle of the holiday season.

    So…yeah, all those “gains” already went bye-bye.