EU and US Regional Unemployment Rates, February 2019

Apr 17, 2019
Unemployment Rate in EU and US Regions

The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each EU and US region as of February 2019 (unless otherwise noted - see caveats below), the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior.  US regions fare considerably better in this metric than EU regions do.


  • The difference between the region with the lowest unemployment rate, the Southern US, and the region with the highest, the Southern EU, is 8.39 percentage points (down from 8.46 last month and down from 9.64 last year).
  • The Southern EU has 3.28 times the unemployment rate that the Southern US does (down from 3.31 last month and down from 3.56 last year - the Midwestern US had the lowest rate last year).
  • All US regions and the Eastern and Western EU each has an unemployment rate that is lower than every state in the Northern EU.
  • The Southern EU has an unemployment rate that is higher than every state in every other region.
  • Five regions saw an improvement in their rate from the previous month while three saw a deterioration.
  • Only the Western US saw its rate worsen on a yearly basis, all other regions improved from last year.


  • 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.
  • 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 Eastern EU consists of Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
  • The Western US consists of California, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, Idaho, Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming.
  • The Western EU consists of Germany, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Ireland, and Luxembourg.
  • The Northern EU consists of Sweden, Denmark, and Finland.
  • The Southern EU consists of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, and Malta.


In absolute terms, the Eastern EU had the biggest monthly improvement dropping its rate 0.18 percentage points from 4.10% to 3.92%.  The Northern EU had the greatest deterioration over the previous month raising its rate 0.10 percentage points from a rate of 5.90% to a rate of 6.00%.  Year over year, the Southern EU saw the greatest improvement dropping its rate 1.34 percentage points from 13.41% to 12.07%.  The Western US saw the greatest deterioration raising its rate 0.01 percentage points from 4.21% to 4.22%.

In relative terms, the Eastern EU had the biggest monthly improvement dropping its rate 4.39%.  The Northern EU had the greatest deterioration over the previous month raising its rate 1.69%.  Year over year, the Eastern EU saw the greatest improvement with a 14.60% drop in its rate.  The Western US saw the greatest deterioration with a 0.24% rise in its rate, it was also the only region whose rate worsened over the year.

The Northeastern US has the smallest range in unemployment rates this month with a low of 2.4% in New Hampshire and Vermont to a high of 4.0% in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  The Southern EU has the greatest range with a low of 3.5% in Malta to a high of 18.0% in Greece.

The Midwestern US states had both the lowest median and mean unemployment rates at 3.15% and 3.29% respectively, while the Southern EU states had the highest median and mean unemployment rates at 8.90% and 9.92% respectively.  Although the Southern US as a whole had the lowest rate, the relatively large range in rates in the region gave its states the third smallest median and mean rates at 3.80% and 3.87% respectively, bested in both by the Northeastern US (3.70% median, 3.45% mean).

No changes in the rank of the rate were made from the previous month.  However, the Southern US went from second lowest rate last year to lowest rate passing the Midwestern US which now has the second lowest rate.  Also, the Northeastern US and the Eastern EU both went from having higher rates than the Western US last year which had the third lowest rate to both having lower rates and are ranked third (Northeast US from fourth last year) and fourth (Eastern EU from fifth last year) lowest while the Western US now has the fifth lowest rate.


Bureau of Labor Statistics.  2019.  "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release."  Accessed April 10, 2019.

Eurostat.  2019.  "Unemployment by Sex and Age - Monthly Average."  Accessed April 9, 2019.,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.