The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US state as of September 2021, the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior. Six states have an unemployment rate below three percent.
- The difference between the state with the lowest unemployment rate, Nebraska, and the states with the highest, California and Nevada, is 5.50 percentage points (same as 5.50 last month and down from 11.00 last year). Nebraska had the lowest rate last month and the lowest rate last year. Nevada had the highest rate last month and Hawaii had the highest rate last year.
- California and Nevada have 3.75 times the unemployment rate that Nebraska does. The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was up from 3.50 last month and down from 3.89 last year.
- The median unemployment rate in the 50 US states is 4.60 (down from 4.85 last month and down from 7.00 last year) and the mean 4.75 (down from 4.92 the previous month and down from 7.10 last year).
- Of the 50 states, 7 saw no change in the unemployment rate from the previous month, 41 saw an improvement, and 2 saw the rate increase.
- Of the 50 states, 0 saw no change in the unemployment rate from last year, 50 saw an improvement over the prior year's rate, and 0 saw the unemployment rate increase over the year.
- Data is from September 2021.
- Data may conflict with previous month's report as statistical agencies make updates to the rates over the course of the month.
- All figures are rounded to the nearest hundredth.
In absolute terms, Rhode Island had the best performance over the previous month dropping 0.6 percentage points. Massachusetts had the worst performance with an increase of 0.2 percentage points in the unemployment rate. Year over year, Hawaii had the best performance with a 8.2 percentage point drop while Maine had the worst performance with a 0.1 percentage point drop in the unemployment rate.
In relative terms, Rhode Island had the best performance over the previous month with a 10.34% drop in the rate while Massachusetts had the worst performance with an 4.00% rise in the rate. Year over year, Hawaii had the best performance with a 55.41% drop in the rate while Maine had the worst performance with a 2.04% drop in the rate.
Of the 50 states, 16 have an unemployment rate below four percent (up from 14 last month, up from 1 last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages. Of the 50, 34 have a rate between four and eight percent (down from 36 last month, down from 39 last year), and 0 have a rate above eight percent (same as 0 last month, down from 10 last year).
Rhode Island (from 34th lowest unemployment rate to 31st lowest) rose 3 spots between last month and this. On the other hand, Kansas (from 12th to 15th), Massachusetts (from 28th to 31st), and Maryland (from 37th to 40th) fell 3 spots. Year-over-year, Rhode Island (from 48th to 31st) rose 17 spots. Conversely, Maine (from 7th to 28th) fell 21 spots.
|State||Last Year||Previous Rate||Latest Rate|
Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2021. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed November 4, 2021. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.