The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US region as of January 2019, the change from the previous month, and the previous year. The South continues to hold the lowest unemployment rate, however only the Northeast has not seen an increase in its rate from the previous month.
- The difference between the region with the lowest unemployment rate, the South, and the region with the highest, the West, is 0.54 percentage points.
- The West has 1.15 times the unemployment rate that the South does.
- The West has an unemployment rate that is higher than every state in the Northeast.
- Data is from January 2019.
- All figures are rounded to the nearest hundredth.
- The Southern US consists of Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
- The Midwestern US consists of Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
- The Northeastern US consists of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
- The Western US consists of California, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, Idaho, Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming.
The Northeast had the best monthly performance in its rate as it was the only region to maintain the rate from the previous month. It also had the best performance year over year dropping from a rate of 4.31% to a rate of 3.78%.
The West had the worst monthly performance in its rate as it went from 4.14% to 4.21% and it remains as the only region with a rate above four percent. It also had the worst performance year over year only dropping from a rate of 4.24% to a rate of 4.21%.
Twenty-two states have an unemployment rate lower than that of the South: nine from the Midwest, five each from the Northeast and the South, and three from the West. Eleven states have a rate higher than that of the West: two from the Midwest, three from the South, and six from the West.
Unemployment rates in the Midwest range from a low of 2.4% in Iowa to a high of 4.7% in Ohio. The Northeast's rates range from a low of 2.4% in New Hampshire to a high of 4.1% in Pennsylvania. The South's rates range from a low of 2.8% in Virginia to a high of 5.2% in West Virginia. Finally, the West's rates range from a low of 2.7% in Hawaii to a high of 6.5% in Alaska.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2019. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed February 6, 2019. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.