The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US state as of September 2019, the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior. Vermont continues to be the only state that has 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 4.00 percentage points (down from 4.10 last month and down from 4.10 last year). Vermont had the lowest rate last month while Iowa and New Hampshire had the lowest rate last year. Alaska had the highest rate in both time periods.
- Alaska has 2.82 times the unemployment rate that Vermont does. The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was down from 2.95 last month and up from 2.71 last year.
- The median unemployment rate in the 50 US states is 3.40 (same as 3.40 last month and down from 3.70 last year) and the mean 3.56 (down from 3.57 the previous month and down from 3.68 last year).
- Twenty states did not see a change in their unemployment rate from the previous month, 18 saw an improvement, and 12 saw their rate increase.
- Three states did not see a change in their unemployment rate from last year, while 30 saw an improvement over the prior year's rate, and 17 saw their unemployment rate increase over the year.
- Data is from September 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, South Carolina had the greatest improvement over the previous month dropping 0.3 percentage points. Mississippi had the greatest deterioration with an increase of 0.2 percentage points in the unemployment rate. Year over year, Alabama, Colorado, and New Jersey had the greatest improvement with a 0.8 percentage point drop while Mississippi had the greatest deterioration with a 0.7 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate.
In relative terms, South Carolina had the greatest improvement over the previous month with a 9.37% drop in its rate while Vermont had the biggest deterioration with a 4.76% rise in its rate. Year over year, Colorado had the greatest improvement with a 22.86% drop in its rate while Mississippi had the greatest deterioration with a 14.89% rise in its rate.
Thirty-five states have an unemployment rate below four percent (up from 34 last month, same as 35 last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages. Fifteen have a rate between four and eight percent (down from 16 last month, same as 15 last year), and zero have a rate above eight percent (same as last month and last year).
South Carolina (from 16th lowest unemployment rate to 9th lowest) bested seven states between last month and this as its rate went from 3.2% to 2.9%. On the other hand, Wisconsin (from 13th to 18th) was bested by five states as its rate went from 3.1% to 3.2%. Year-over-year, New Jersey (from 32nd to 15th) surpassed 17 states. Conversely, North Carolina (from 25th to 38th) was surpassed by 13 states.
|State||Last Year||Previous Rate||Latest Rate|
Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2019. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed November 7, 2019. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.