EU and US Unemployment Rates, May 2019

Jul 12, 2019
Unemployment Rate in EU and US States

The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each EU and US state as of May 2019 (unless otherwise noted - see caveats below), the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior.  Czechia is the only EU state with an unemployment rate below three percent.  Nine US states have a rate below three percent.

Findings

  • The difference between the state with the lowest unemployment rate, Vermont, and the state with the highest, Greece, is 16.0 percentage points (down from 16.2 last month and down from 17.9 last year).  Czechia and Vermont had the lowest rate last month while Greece had the highest rate last month.  Czechia and Hawaii had the lowest rates last year, Greece also had the highest rate last year.
  • Greece has 8.62 times the unemployment rate that Vermont does.  The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was up from 8.36 last month and down from 8.78 last year.
  • The median unemployment rate in the 28 EU states is 5.25 (down from 5.35 the previous month and down from 5.80 last year) and the mean 5.98 (same as 5.98 the previous month and down from 6.65 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).
  • The median unemployment rate in the 78 EU and US states is 3.80 (same as 3.80 last month and down from 4.10 last year) and the mean 4.48 (down from 4.49 the previous month and down from 4.82 last year).
  • Thirty-nine states (24 from the US and 15 from the EU) did not see a change in their unemployment rate from the previous month, 26 saw an improvement (16 from the US and 10 from the EU), and 13 saw their rate increase (10 from the US and 3 from the EU).
  • Five states (4 from the US and 1 from the EU) did not see a change in their unemployment rate from last year, while 54 saw an improvement (31 from the US and 23 from the EU), and 19 saw their unemployment rate increase over the year (19 from the US and 4 from the EU).

Caveats

  • Data is from May 2019 except for Estonia and Hungary which are from April 2019 and Greece and the United Kingdom which are from February 2019 (previous month and year rates also reflect the respective one and two month delay).
  • 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.

Details

In absolute terms, Greece and Cyprus had the greatest improvement over the previous month dropping 0.3 percentage points.  Estonia had the biggest spike in its rate rising 0.9 percentage points.  Year over year, Greece had the greatest improvement with a 2.1 percentage point drop while Hawaii had the greatest deterioration with a 0.5 percentage point rise.

In relative terms, Texas had the greatest improvement over the previous month with a 5.41% drop in its rate while Estonia had the biggest deterioration with a 21.95% rise in its rate.  Year over year, Ireland had the greatest improvement with a 25.00% drop in its rate while Hawaii had the greatest deterioration with a 21.74% rise in its rate.

Forty-two states (34 from the US and 8 from the EU) have an unemployment rate below four percent (same as 42 - 35 US, 7 EU - last month and up from 32 - 26 US, 6 EU - last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages.  Thirty-two (16 from the US and 16 from the EU) have a rate between four and eight percent (same as 32 - 15 US, 17 EU - last month, down from 40 - 24 US, 16 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).

Texas and Ohio bested two other states between last month and this month.  On the other hand, Estonia was bested by 12 states as it went from a rate of 4.1% to a rate of 5.0%.  Year-over-year, Delaware bested 12 other states as it went from a rate of 3.8% to a rate of 3.2%.  Conversely, Oregon was bested by ten states as it went from a rate of 4.0% to a rate of 4.2%.

Sources

Bureau of Labor Statistics.  2019.  "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release."  Accessed July 10, 2019.  https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.

Eurostat.  2019.  "Unemployment by Sex and Age - Monthly Average."  Accessed July 9, 2019.  http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?query=BOOKMARK_DS-055624_QID_-32B35C53_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-055624SEX,T;DS-055624UNIT,PC_ACT;DS-055624S_ADJ,SA;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.