The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US region as of May 2020, the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior. All four regions saw their unemployment rate drop over the past month and rise dramatically over the past year.
- The difference between the region with the lowest unemployment rate, the South, and the regions with the highest, the West, is 2.23 percentage points (up from 2.14 last month and up from 0.47 last year). The South had the lowest rate last month and last year. The West had the highest rate last month and last year.
- The West has 1.18 times the unemployment rate that the South does (up from 1.16 last month and up from 1.13 last year).
- Zero regions saw no change in their rate from the previous month, four regions saw an improvement, and zero regions saw a deterioration.
- Zero regions saw no change in their rate from last year, zero regions saw an improvement, and four regions saw a deterioration.
- 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.
- 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 Midwest had the greatest monthly improvement dropping its rate 2.16 percentage points. The Northeast had the smallest improvement dropping its rate 1.11 percentage points. Year over year, the South saw the smallest deterioration raising its rate 8.69 percentage points. The West saw the largest deterioration raising its rate 10.45 percentage points.
In relative terms, the Midwest had the largest monthly improvement dropping its rate 13.94%. The Northeast had the smallest improvement dropping its rate 7.50%. Year over year, the South saw the smallest impairment with a 246.88% rise in its rate. The Northeast saw the largest impairment with a 273.02% rise in its rate.
The West has an unemployment rate higher than 37 out of 50 states. The South has an unemployment rate that is lower than half of the states in the country besting 25 out of 50 states.
The South has the smallest range in unemployment rates this month with a low of 9.4% in Virginia to a high of 14.5% in Florida. The West has the greatest range with a low of 8.5% in Utah to a high of 25.3% in Nevada.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2020. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed July 6, 2020. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.