The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each EU and US state as of February 2019 (unless otherwise noted - see caveats below), the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior. The Czech Republic is the only state with an unemployment rate below two percent, it is also the only EU state with an unemployment rate below three percent. Twelve US states have a rate below three percent.
- The difference between the state with the lowest unemployment rate, the Czech Republic, and the state with the highest, Greece, is 16.1 percentage points (down from 16.2 last month and down from 18.5 last year). The Czech Republic had the lowest rate last month while Hawaii and the Czech Republic had the lowest rate last year. Greece had the highest rate in both time periods.
- Greece has 9.47 times the unemployment rate that the Czech Republic does. The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was up from 8.71 last month and up from 9.04 last year.
- The median unemployment rate in the 28 EU states is 5.45 (up from 5.40 the previous month but down from 5.85 last year) and the mean 6.10 (down from 6.21 the previous month and down from 6.91 last year).
- The median unemployment rate in the 50 US states is 3.75 (same as last month, but down from 4.00 last year) and the mean 3.71 (down from 3.72 the previous month and down from 3.90 last year).
- The median unemployment rate in the 78 EU and US states is 3.90 (same as last month, but down from 4.25 last year) and the mean 4.57 (down from 4.62 the previous month and down from 4.98 last year).
- Twenty-nine states (25 from the US and 4 from the EU) did not see a change in their unemployment rate from the previous month, 34 saw an improvement (15 from the US and 19 from the EU), and 15 states saw their rate increase (10 from the US and 5 from the EU).
- Seven states (5 from the US and 2 from the EU) did not see a change in their unemployment rate from last year, while 62 saw an improvement (37 from the US and 25 from the EU), and nine saw their unemployment rate increase over the year (8 from the US and 1 from the EU).
- Data is from February 2019 except for Estonia and Hungary which are from January 2019 and Greece and the United Kingdom which are from December 2018.
- All figures are rounded to the nearest hundredth.
In absolute terms, Slovenia had the greatest improvement over the previous month dropping 0.8 percentage points. Luxembourg had the biggest spike in its rate rising 0.4 percentage points. Year over year, Greece had the greatest improvement with a 2.8 percentage point drop while Colorado had the greatest deterioration with a 0.8 percentage point rise.
In relative terms, Slovenia had the greatest improvement over the previous month with a 15.38% drop in its rate while Luxembourg had the biggest deterioration with an 8.16% rise in its rate. Year over year, Estonia had the greatest improvement with a 33.33% drop in its rate while Colorado had the greatest deterioration with a 27.59% rise in its rate.
Forty-two states (34 from the US and 8 from the EU) have an unemployment rate below four percent (up from 40 - 32 US, 8 EU - last month and up from 28 - 24 US, 4 EU - last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages. Thirty-two (16 each from the EU and US) have a rate between four and eight percent (down from 34 - 18 US, 16 EU - last month, down from 44 - 26 US, 18 EU - last year), and four (all from the EU) have a rate above eight percent (same as last month, down from six last year - all from the EU).
Slovenia bested 10 other states between last month and this month, going from a rate of 5.2% to a rate of 4.4%. These are (in increasing order of unemployment rate): Washington, Ohio, Bulgaria, Mississippi, Louisiana, Denmark, Austria, Arizona, New Mexico, and Luxembourg. On the other hand, Luxembourg was bested by five states as it went from a rate of 4.9% to a rate of 5.3%. These are (in increasing order of unemployment rate): Slovenia, Denmark, Arizona, New Mexico, and West Virginia.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2019. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed April 10, 2019. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.
Eurostat. 2019. "Unemployment by Sex and Age - Monthly Average." Accessed April 9, 2019. http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?query=BOOKMARK_DS-055624_QID_-64E038A_UID_-3F171EB0&layout=TIME,C,X,0;GEO,L,Y,0;S_ADJ,L,Z,0;AGE,L,Z,1;UNIT,L,Z,2;SEX,L,Z,3;INDICATORS,C,Z,4;&zSelection=DS-055624S_ADJ,SA;DS-055624UNIT,PC_ACT;DS-055624SEX,T;DS-055624AGE,TOTAL;DS-055624INDICATORS,OBS_FLAG;&rankName1=UNIT_1_2_-1_2&rankName2=AGE_1_2_-1_2&rankName3=INDICATORS_1_2_-1_2&rankName4=SEX_1_2_-1_2&rankName5=S-ADJ_1_2_-1_2&rankName6=TIME_1_0_0_0&rankName7=GEO_1_2_0_1&sortC=ASC_-1_FIRST&rStp=&cStp=&rDCh=&cDCh=&rDM=true&cDM=true&footnes=false&empty=false&wai=false&time_mode=NONE&time_most_recent=false&lang=EN&cfo=%23%23%23%2C%23%23%23.%23%23%23.