EU and US Unemployment Rates, December 2019

Feb 11, 2020
Unemployment Rate in EU and US States

The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each EU and US state as of December 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.  Thirteen US states have a rate below three percent.

Findings

  • The difference between the state with the lowest unemployment rate, Czechia, and the state with the highest, Greece, is 14.60 percentage points (down from 14.70 last month and down from 16.40 last year).  Czechia had the lowest rate last month and last year.  Greece had the highest rate last month and last year.
  • Greece has 8.30 times the unemployment rate that Czechia and Vermont do.  The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was up from 8.00 last month and down from 8.81 last year.
  • The median unemployment rate in the 28 EU states is 5.20 (down from 5.20 the previous month and down from 5.35 last year) and the mean 5.89 (down from 5.94 the previous month and down from 6.19 last year).
  • The median unemployment rate in the 50 US states is 3.45 (up from 3.40 last month and down from 3.70 last year) and the mean 3.53 (down from 3.54 the previous month and down from 3.70 last year).
  • The median unemployment rate in the 78 EU and US states is 3.70 (down from 3.75 last month and down from 3.90 last year) and the mean 4.38 (down from 4.40 the previous month and down from 4.59 last year).
  • Twenty-eight states (20 from the US and 8 from the EU) did not see a change in their unemployment rate from the previous month, 30 saw an improvement (17 from the US and 13 from the EU), and 20 saw their rate increase (13 from the US and 7 from the EU).
  • Seven states (5 from the US and 2 from the EU) did not see a change in their unemployment rate from last year, while 53 saw an improvement (32 from the US and 21 from the EU), and 18 saw their unemployment rate increase over the year (13 from the US and 5 from the EU).

Caveats

  • Data is from December 2019 except for Estonia and Hungary which are from November 2019 and Greece and the United Kingdom which are from October 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, Sweden had the greatest improvement over the previous month dropping 0.7 percentage points.  Latvia had the biggest spike in its rate rising 0.4 percentage points.  Year over year, Greece had the greatest improvement with a 1.9 percentage point drop while Mississippi had the greatest deterioration with a 1.0 percentage point rise.

In relative terms, Sweden had the greatest improvement over the previous month with a 9.59% drop in its rate while Missouri had the biggest deterioration with a 6.45% rise in its rate.  Year over year, Colorado had the greatest improvement with a 30.56% drop in its rate while Mississippi had the greatest deterioration with a 21.28% rise in its rate.

Forty-eight states (39 from the US and 9 from the EU) have an unemployment rate below four percent (up from 45 - 37 US, 8 EU - last month and up from 40 - 33 US, 7 EU - last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages.  Twenty-six (11 from the US and 15 from the EU) have a rate between four and eight percent (down from 29 - 13 US, 16 EU - last month, down from 34 - 17 US, 17 EU - last year), and four (all from the EU) have a rate above eight percent (same as 4 last month, same as last year - all from the EU).

The Netherlands (from 31st lowest unemployment rate to 17th lowest) bested 14 states between last month and this month.  On the other hand, Missouri (from 15th to 23rd) was bested by 8 states.  Year-over-year, Alabama (from 35th to 10th) bested 25 states.  Conversely, Delaware (from 24th to 45th) was bested by 21 states.

Sources

Bureau of Labor Statistics.  2020.  "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release."  Accessed February 10, 2020.  https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.

Eurostat.  2020.  "Unemployment by Sex and Age - Monthly Average."  Accessed February 7, 2020.  https://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?query=BOOKMARK_DS-055624_QID_1045B87B_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-055624S_ADJ,SA;DS-055624UNIT,PC_ACT;DS-055624SEX,T;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.