Capitol Comments

Econ Piggy

The unemployment rate fell in 31 states in September, whilst 15 states unemployment rate stood below 5 percent, signaling a return to healthier labor-market conditions reports US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Forty-two states had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, five states had increases, and three states had no change. The US unemployment rate declined to 5.9 percent in September and was 1.3 percent lower than in September 2013.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services’ (S&P) recent report examined the effects of the widening income gap in the US and concluded that rising share of income to the wealthiest Americans has resulted in less tax revenue for the states. The implications of rising income inequality for the states vary.  

In its policy statement, the Federal Open Market committee (FOMC) reduced its forecast for U.S. economic growth Wednesday, June 18th, but also predicted that growth is bouncing back and the job market is improving.

Full effects of the United States’ Standard and Poor’s (S&P) credit downgrade in 2011 are yet to be fully known, especially for state governments. The map below looks at the S&P’s state credit ratings for each of the 50 states.

Moody’s outlook at the state level has been negative for five years; however, on August 20, 2013 Moody’s Investors Services has revised its outlook for US states to stable from negative. Moody’s outlook on US states primarily reflects their view of the slowly improving US economy and monetary system, as well as the U.S. dollar’s status as the world’s key reserve currency.