Labor Force Statistics - Volume 2: Unemployment and Underemployment by State
- Unemployment and Underemployment rates vary across states according to the nature of economic activity predominant in each State. States with higher focus on seasonal agriculture tend to have higher rates of underemployment compared to unemployment. This may swing from high full-time employment during periods of planting and harvest, when they are fully engaged on their farms, to periods of high underemployment and even unemployment at other periods in between.
- States with a higher propensity for women to be housewives or stay home husbands or that have negative attitudes to working tend to have lower unemployment rates, as they are not considered part of the labor force in the first place, and as such have no bearing on the rate of unemployment. (You have to be within the labor force to be employed, underemployed and unemployed and you are ot part of the labor force if you are not looking for work even if you dont work). Such States tend to have a higher proportion of their economically active populations (those aged 15 – 64) outside the labor force, thereby reducing the number available and looking for work, and the number that can be unemployed or underemployed.
- State unemployment is a “moment-in-time” index only and can change quite quickly. It is therefore, advisable to be cautious in comparing trends, particularly amongst States, because of the ease of movement across State borders, as job seekers search for employment or economic opportunities in other states. Favourable conditions in one state may lead to an influx of jobseekers in that state and in the process increasing unemployment in the perfoming state, while reducing the unemployment rate in the originating state. This may give a false impression that the state with the lower unemployment rate is perfoming better.
Data source: National Bureau of Statistics