US Regional Unemployment Rates, September 2019

Nov 12, 2019
Unemployment Rate in US Regions

The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US region as of September 2019, the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior.  The Northeastern US was the only region to not see an improvement in its rate from last month.


  • The difference between the region with the lowest unemployment rate, the South, and the region with the highest, the West, is 0.51 percentage points (down from 0.52 last month and up from 0.50 last year).  The West and the South had the highest and lowest rates last month respectively while the West had the highest rate last year and the Midwest had the lowest.
  • The West has 1.15 times the unemployment rate that the South does (same as 1.15 last month and up from 1.14 last year).
  • One region did not see a change in its rate from the previous month while three regions saw an improvement.
  • Zero regions did not see a change in their rate from last year while all four regions saw an improvement.


  • 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.
  • The Midwestern US consists of Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
  • The Northeastern US consists of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
  • The Southern US consists of Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
  • The Western US consists of California, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, Idaho, Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming.
  • Data for individual states is available in the US unemployment rate post.


In absolute terms, the West had the biggest monthly improvement dropping its rate 0.07 percentage points.  The Northeast had no change over the previous month.  Year over year, the Northeast saw the greatest improvement dropping its rate 0.19 percentage points from 3.78% to 3.59%.  The Midwest saw the smallest improvement dropping its rate 0.02 percentage points.

In relative terms, the West had the biggest monthly improvement dropping its rate 1.73%.  The Northeast was the worst performer with no change in its rate.  Year over year, the Northeast saw the greatest improvement with a 5.03% drop in its rate.  The Midwest saw the smallest improvement with a 0.55% drop in its rate.

The West has an unemployment rate higher than 35 out of 50 states.  The South has an unemployment rate that is lower than nearly half of the states in the country besting 24 out of 50 states.

The Midwest has the smallest range in unemployment rates this month with a low of 2.5% in Iowa and North Dakota to a high of 4.2% in Michigan and Ohio.  The West has the greatest range with a low of 2.7% in Colorado, Hawaii, and Utah to a high of 6.2% in Alaska.


Bureau of Labor Statistics.  2019.  "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release."  Accessed November 7, 2019.

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