The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US state as of March 2019, the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior. Four states, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Vermont are the only states that continue to have an unemployment rate below 2.5 percent.
- The difference between the state with the lowest unemployment rate, a tie between North Dakota and Vermont, and the state with the highest, Alaska, is 4.2 percentage points (up from 4.1 last month, but down from 4.4 last year). Iowa, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Vermont had the lowest rate last month while Hawaii had the lowest rate last year. Alaska had the highest rate in both time periods.
- Alaska has 2.83 times the unemployment rate that each of North Dakota and Vermont do. The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was up from 2.71 last month but down from 2.91 last year.
- The median unemployment rate in the 50 US states is 3.70 (down from 3.75 last month, and down from 3.95 last year) and the mean 3.70 (down from 3.72 the previous month and down from 3.86 last year).
- Nineteen states did not see a change in their unemployment rate from the previous month, 17 saw an improvement, and 14 states saw their rate increase.
- Five states did not see a change in their unemployment rate from last year, while 35 saw an improvement over the prior year's rate, and ten saw their unemployment rate increase over the year.
- Data is from March 2019.
- 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, Colorado, Louisiana, Ohio, and Wyoming had the greatest improvement over the previous month dropping 0.2 percentage points. All 14 states whose unemployment rate rose saw an increase of 0.1 percentage points. Year over year, Delaware had the greatest improvement with a 0.7 percentage point drop while Colorado had the greatest deterioration with a 0.6 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate.
In relative terms, Colorado had the greatest improvement over the previous month with a 5.41% drop in its rate while Hawaii had the biggest deterioration with a 3.70% rise in its rate. Year over year, Delaware had the greatest improvement with a 17.50% drop in its rate while Hawaii had the greatest deterioration with a 21.74% rise in its rate.
Thirty-three states have an unemployment rate below four percent (down from 34 last month, up from 25 last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages. Seventeen have a rate between four and eight percent (up from 16 last month, down from 25 last year), and zero have a rate above eight percent (same as last month and last year).
Wyoming bested three other states between last month and this month as it went from a rate of 3.9% to a rate of 3.7%. These are (in increasing order of unemployment rate): Maryland, Texas, and Connecticut. On the other hand, Maryland was bested by three states as it went from a rate of 3.7% to a rate of 3.8%. These are (in increasing order of unemployment rate): Arkansas, Montana, and Wyoming.
|State||Previous Rate||Latest Rate||Change (Percentage Points)|
Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2019. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed May 7, 2019. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.