The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US region as of December 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 0.42 percentage points (down from 0.46 last month and down from 0.51 last year). The South and the West held the lowest and highest rates respectively both last month and last year.
- The West has 1.12 times the unemployment rate that the South does (down from 1.14 last month and down from 1.14 last year).
- Zero regions saw no change in their rate from the previous month, three regions saw an improvement, and one region saw a deterioration.
- Zero regions saw no change in their rate from last year, four regions saw an improvement, and zero regions saw a deterioration.
- Data is from December 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.
In absolute terms, the West had the biggest monthly improvement dropping its rate 0.07 percentage points. The Northeast had the largest increase over the previous month raising its rate 0.04 percentage points. Year over year, the West saw the greatest improvement dropping its rate 0.35 percentage points. The Northeast saw the smallest improvement dropping its rate 0.06 percentage points.
In relative terms, the West had the biggest monthly improvement dropping its rate 1.81%. The Northeast had the largest deterioration over the previous month raising its rate 1.09%. Year over year, the West saw the greatest improvement with a 8.45% drop in its rate. The Northeast saw the smallest improvement with a 1.59% 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 22 out of 50 states.
The Midwest has the smallest range in unemployment rates this month with a low of 2.4% in North Dakota to a high of 4.2% in Ohio. The West has the greatest range with a low of 2.3% in Utah to a high of 6.1% in Alaska.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2020. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed February 10, 2020. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.