EU and US Unemployment Rates, January 2020

Mar 18, 2020
Unemployment Rate in EU and US States

The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each EU and US state as of January 2020 (unless otherwise noted - see caveats below), the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior.  Czechia and Poland are the only EU states with an unemployment rate below three percent.  Fourteen 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 14.50 percentage points (down from 14.60 last month and down from 16.50 last year).  Czechia had the lowest rate last month and last year.  Greece had the highest rate last month and last year.
  • Greece has 8.25 times the unemployment rate that Czechia and Vermont do.  The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was down from 8.30 last month and down from 8.86 last year.
  • The median unemployment rate in the 28 EU states is 5.10 (same as 5.10 the previous month and down from 5.25 last year) and the mean 5.84 (up from 5.81 the previous month and down from 6.15 last year).
  • The median unemployment rate in the 50 US states is 3.45 (same as 3.45 last month and down from 3.60 last year) and the mean 3.51 (down from 3.54 the previous month and down from 3.69 last year).
  • The median unemployment rate in the 78 EU and US states is 3.65 (down from 3.70 last month and down from 3.85 last year) and the mean 4.34 (down from 4.35 the previous month and down from 4.57 last year).
  • Thirty-six states (25 from the US and 11 from the EU) did not see a change in their unemployment rate from the previous month, 26 saw an improvement (19 from the US and 7 from the EU), and 16 saw their rate increase (6 from the US and 10 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 52 saw an improvement (32 from the US and 20 from the EU), and 19 saw their unemployment rate increase over the year (13 from the US and 6 from the EU).

Caveats

  • Data is from January 2020 except for Estonia and Hungary which are from December 2019 and Greece and the United Kingdom which are from November 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, Cyprus had the greatest improvement over the previous month dropping 0.3 percentage points.  Sweden had the biggest spike in its rate rising 0.5 percentage points.  Year over year, Greece had the greatest improvement with a 2.1 percentage point drop while Sweden had the greatest deterioration with a 1.0 percentage point rise.

In relative terms, the Netherlands had the greatest improvement over the previous month with a 6.25% drop in its rate while Sweden had the biggest deterioration with a 7.58% rise in its rate.  Year over year, South Carolina had the greatest improvement with a 29.41% drop in its rate while Sweden had the greatest deterioration with a 16.39% rise in its rate.

Forty-eight states (40 from the US and 8 from the EU) have an unemployment rate below four percent (up from 46 - 39 US, 7 EU - last month and up from 41 - 33 US, 8 EU - last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages.  Twenty-six (10 from the US and 16 from the EU) have a rate between four and eight percent (down from 28 - 11 US, 17 EU - last month, down from 33 - 17 US, 16 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).

Illinois (from 38th lowest unemployment rate to 32nd lowest) bested 6 states between last month and this month.  On the other hand, Missouri (from 26th to 34th) was bested by 6 states.  Year-over-year, Poland (from 36th to 15th) and Oregon (from 45th to 24th) bested 21 states each.  Conversely, Delaware (from 24th to 49th) was bested by 25 states.

Sources

Bureau of Labor Statistics.  2020.  "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release."  Accessed March 17, 2020.  https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.

Eurostat.  2020.  "Unemployment by Sex and Age - Monthly Average."  Accessed March 6, 2020.  https://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?query=BOOKMARK_DS-055624_QID_-100CDDE9_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-055624SEX,T;DS-055624UNIT,PC_ACT;DS-055624S_ADJ,SA;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.