US Unemployment Rates, December 2018

Feb 8, 2019
Unemployment Rate in US States

The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US state as of December 2018.  Iowa is the only state with a rate below 2.5 percent.


  • The difference between the state with the lowest unemployment rate, Iowa, and the state with the highest, Alaska, is 3.9 percentage points.
  • Iowa has 0.38 times - or nearly one-third - the unemployment rate that Alaska does.
  • The median unemployment rate in the 50 US states is 3.65 and the mean 3.70.


  • Data is from December 2018.
  • All figures are rounded to the nearest hundredth.


Thirty-two states have an unemployment rate below four percent which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages.  The remaining 18 have a rate between four and eight percent.

If one excludes Alaska, the highest unemployment rate is just over two times the lowest.  Even if Alaska is included, its unemployment rate is 2.63 times larger than Iowa's.


Bureau of Labor Statistics.  2019.  "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release."  Accessed February 6, 2019.

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