The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US state as of March 2020, the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior. North Dakota is the only state that has an unemployment rate below 2.5 percent.
- The difference between the state with the lowest unemployment rate, North Dakota, and the state with the highest, Louisiana, is 4.70 percentage points (up from 3.60 last month and up from 3.80 last year). North Dakota had the lowest rate last month while North Dakota and Vermont had the lowest rate last year. Alaska had the highest rate in both time periods.
- Louisiana has 3.14 times the unemployment rate that North Dakota does. The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was up from 2.64 last month and up from 2.65 last year.
- The median unemployment rate in the 50 US states is 3.95 (up from 3.40 last month and up from 3.50 last year) and the mean 4.16 (up from 3.48 the previous month and up from 3.64 last year).
- Eleven states did not see a change in their unemployment rate from the previous month, seven saw an improvement, and 32 saw their rate increase.
- Four states did not see a change in their unemployment rate from last year, while 13 saw an improvement over the prior year's rate, and 33 saw their unemployment rate increase over the year.
- Data is from March 2020.
- 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, Alaska had the greatest improvement over the previous month dropping 0.2 percentage points. Nevada had the greatest deterioration with an increase of 2.7 percentage points in the unemployment rate. Year over year, Oregon and South Carolina had the greatest improvement with a 0.8 percentage point drop while Louisiana had the greatest deterioration with a 2.4 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate.
In relative terms, Hawaii and Idaho had the greatest improvement over the previous month with a 3.70% drop in their rate while Colorado had the biggest deterioration with an 80.00% rise in its rate. Year over year, South Carolina had the greatest improvement with a 23.53% drop in its rate while Nevada had the greatest deterioration with a 53.66% rise in its rate.
Twenty-five states have an unemployment rate below four percent (down from 41 last month, down from 33 last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages. Twenty-five have a rate between four and eight percent (up from 9 last month, up from 17 last year), and zero have a rate above eight percent (same as last month and last year).
Connecticut (from 37th lowest unemployment rate to 22nd lowest) bested 15 states between last month and this. On the other hand, Colorado (from 3rd to 31st) was bested by 28 states. Year-over-year, Oregon (from 35th to 13th) surpassed 22 states. Conversely, Colorado (from 9th to 31st) was surpassed by 22 states.
|State||Last Year||Previous Rate||Latest Rate|
Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2020. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed May 11, 2020. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.