The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US state as of April 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, Vermont, and the state with the highest, Alaska, is 4.3 percentage points (up from 4.2 last month, and down from 4.4 last year). 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 2.95 times the unemployment rate that Vermont does. The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was up from 2.83 last month and up from 2.91 last year.
- The median unemployment rate in the 50 US states is 3.60 (down from 3.70 last month and down from 3.95 last year) and the mean 3.66 (down from 3.70 the previous month and down from 3.83 last year).
- Nineteen states did not see a change in their unemployment rate from the previous month, 25 saw an improvement, and six saw their rate increase.
- Four states did not see a change in their unemployment rate from last year, while 34 saw an improvement over the prior year's rate, and 12 saw their unemployment rate increase over the year.
- Data is from April 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, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, and West Virginia had the greatest improvement over the previous month dropping 0.2 percentage points. South Carolina had the greatest deterioration with an increase of 0.2 percentage points in the unemployment rate. Year over year, Delaware had the greatest improvement with a 0.7 percentage point drop while Hawaii had the greatest deterioration with a 0.5 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate.
In relative terms, New Jersey had the greatest improvement over the previous month with a 4.88% drop in its rate while South Carolina had the biggest deterioration with a 6.25% rise in its rate. Year over year, Vermont had the greatest improvement with a 18.52% drop in its rate while Hawaii had the greatest deterioration with a 21.74% rise in its rate.
Thirty-five states have an unemployment rate below four percent (up from 34 last month, up from 25 last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages. Fifteen have a rate between four and eight percent (down from 16 last month, down from 25 last year), and zero have a rate above eight percent (same as last month and last year).
New Jersey bested three other states between last month and this month as it went from a rate of 4.1% to a rate of 3.9%. These are (in increasing order of unemployment rate): Kentucky, North Carolina, and Michigan. On the other hand, South Carolina was bested by four states as it went from a rate of 3.2% to a rate of 3.4%. These are (in increasing order of unemployment rate): Delaware, Maine, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Year-over-year, Delaware surpassed 11 states as it went from a rate of 3.9% to a rate of 3.2%, these are (in increasing order of unemployment rate): Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado, Florida, South Carolina, Kansas, Arkansas, Indiana, and Montana. Conversely, North Carolina was surpassed by eight states as its rate stayed steady at 4.0%, these are (in increasing order of unemployment rate): Rhode Island, Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.
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Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2019. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed June 9, 2019. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.