The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US state as of October 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 (same as 4.00 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 the same as 2.82 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 3.55 (down from 3.56 the previous month and down from 3.69 last year).
- Twenty-two states did not see a change in their unemployment rate from the previous month, 16 saw an improvement, and 12 saw their rate increase.
- Two 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 17 saw their unemployment rate increase over the year.
- Data is from October 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. Delaware, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania had the greatest deterioration with an increase of 0.2 percentage points in the unemployment rate. Year over year, Alabama and Colorado had the greatest improvement with a 1.0 percentage point drop while Mississippi had the greatest deterioration with a 0.8 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate.
In relative terms, South Carolina had the greatest improvement over the previous month with a 10.34% drop in its rate while Delaware had the biggest deterioration with a 5.71% rise in its rate. Year over year, Colorado had the greatest improvement with a 27.78% drop in its rate while Mississippi had the greatest deterioration with a 17.02% rise in its rate.
Thirty-five states have an unemployment rate below four percent (same as 35 last month, up from 33 last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages. Fifteen have a rate between four and eight percent (same as 15 last month, down from 17 last year), and zero have a rate above eight percent (same as last month and last year).
South Carolina (from 9th lowest unemployment rate to 4th lowest) bested five states between last month and this as its rate went from 2.9% to 2.6%. On the other hand, Delaware (from 27th to 32nd) and Pennsylvania (from 36th to 41st) were each bested by five states. Year-over-year, Alabama (from 30th to 10th) surpassed ten states. Conversely, North Carolina (from 24th to 36th) was surpassed by 12 states.
|State||Last Year||Previous Rate||Latest Rate|
Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2019. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed December 13, 2019. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.