The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US state as of May 2019, the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior. Vermont is the only state that has an unemployment rate below 2.25 percent.
- The difference between the state with the lowest unemployment rate, Vermont, and the state with the highest, Alaska, is 4.3 percentage points (same as 4.3 last month and same as 4.3 last year). 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 3.05 times the unemployment rate that Vermont does. The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was up from 2.95 last month and up from 2.87 last year.
- The median unemployment rate in the 50 US states is 3.60 (down from 3.65 last month and down from 3.85 last year) and the mean 3.64 (down from 3.66 the previous month and down from 3.80 last year).
- Twenty-four states did not see a change in their unemployment rate from the previous month, 16 saw an improvement, and ten saw their rate increase.
- Four states did not see a change in their unemployment rate from last year, while 31 saw an improvement over the prior year's rate, and 15 saw their unemployment rate increase over the year.
- Data is from May 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, Texas had the greatest improvement over the previous month dropping 0.2 percentage points. Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Virginia had the greatest deterioration with an increase of 0.1 percentage points in the unemployment rate. Year over year, Delaware, Louisiana, Nevada, and Vermont had the greatest improvement with a 0.6 percentage point drop while Hawaii had the greatest deterioration with a 0.5 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate.
In relative terms, Texas had the greatest improvement over the previous month with a 5.41% drop in its rate while South Dakota had the biggest deterioration with a 3.57% rise in its rate. Year over year, Vermont had the greatest improvement with a 22.22% drop in its rate while Hawaii had the greatest deterioration with a 21.74% rise in its rate.
Thirty-four states have an unemployment rate below four percent (down from 35 last month, up from 26 last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages. Sixteen have a rate between four and eight percent (up from 15 last month, down from 24 last year), and zero have a rate above eight percent (same as last month and last year).
Texas bested two other states between last month and this month as it went from a rate of 3.7% to a rate of 3.5%. On the other hand, Tennessee was bested by two states as it went from a rate of 3.2% to a rate of 3.3%. Year-over-year, Delaware surpassed 10 states as it went from a rate of 3.8% to a rate of 3.2%, these are (in increasing order of unemployment rate): Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Tennessee, Florida, Kansas, South Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana, and Montana. Conversely, Minnesota and Oregon were each surpassed by eight states.
|State||Last Year||Previous Rate||Latest Rate|
Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2019. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed July 10, 2019. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.