The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US state as of May 2020, the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior. The unemployment rate has slowly rebounded in most states however only Nebraska has an unemployment rate below eight percent.
- The difference between the state with the lowest unemployment rate, Nebraska, and the state with the highest, Nevada, is 20.10 percentage points (down from 21.80 last month and up from 3.90 last year). Connecticut had the lowest rate last month while Vermont had the lowest rate last year. Nevada had the highest rate last month while Alaska had the highest rate last year.
- Nevada has 4.87 times the unemployment rate that Connecticut does. The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was up from 3.63 last month and up from 2.70 last year.
- The median unemployment rate in the 50 US states is 12.15 (down from 13.70 last month and up from 3.50 last year) and the mean 12.36 (down from 14.23 the previous month and up from 3.59 last year).
- Two states did not see a change in their unemployment rate from the previous month, 43 saw an improvement, and five saw their rate increase.
- Zero states did not see a change in their unemployment rate from last year, while zero saw an improvement over the prior year's rate, and 50 saw their unemployment rate increase over the year.
- Data is from May 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, Mississippi had the greatest improvement over the previous month dropping 5.7 percentage points. Minnesota had the greatest deterioration with an increase of 1.2 percentage points in the unemployment rate. Year over year, Nebraska had the smallest deterioration with a 2.1 percentage point increase while Nevada had the greatest deterioration with a 21.3 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate.
In relative terms, Nebraska had the greatest improvement over the previous month with a 40.23% drop in its rate while Minnesota had the biggest deterioration with an 13.79% rise in its rate. Year over year, Nebraska had the smallest deterioration with a 67.74% rise in its rate while Hawaii had the greatest deterioration with a 737.04% rise in its rate.
Zero states have an unemployment rate below four percent (same as zero last month, down from 34 last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages. One has a rate between four and eight percent (up from zero last month, down from 16 last year), and 49 have a rate above eight percent (down from 50 last month, up from zero last year).
Kentucky (from 42nd lowest unemployment rate to 23rd lowest) and Indiana (from 45th to 26th) bested 19 states each between last month and this. On the other hand, Delaware (from 29th to 44th) was bested by 15 states. Year-over-year, Arizona (from 47th to 4th) surpassed 43 states. Conversely, Hawaii (from 4th to 49th) was surpassed by 45 states.
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Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2020. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed July 6, 2020. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.