US Regional Unemployment Rates, August 2020

Oct 9, 2020
Unemployment Rate in US Regions

The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US region as of August 2020, the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior.  All four regions had drastic reductions in the rate over the previous month.

Findings

  • The difference between the region with the lowest unemployment rate, the South, and the region with the highest, the Northeast, is 3.64 percentage points (down from 4.86 last month and up from 0.40 last year).  The Midwest had the lowest rate last month and the South had the lowest rate last year.  The Northeast had the highest rate last month and the West had the highest rate last year.
  • The Northeast has 1.53 times the unemployment rate that the Midwest does (down from 1.58 last month and up from 1.12 last year).
  • Zero regions saw no change in the rate from the previous month, four saw an improvement, and zero saw a deterioration.
  • Zero regions saw no change in the rate from last year, zero saw an improvement, and four saw a deterioration.

Caveats

  • Data is from August 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.

Details

In absolute terms, the Northeast had the best performance over the previous month dropping its rate 2.82 percentage points.  The Midwest had the worst performance dropping its rate 0.46 percentage points.  Year over year, the South had the best performance raising its rate 3.43 percentage points.  The Northeast had the worst performance raising its rate 6.78 percentage points.

In relative terms, the Northeast had the best performance over the previous month dropping its rate 21.19%.  The Midwest had the worst performance dropping its rate 5.44%.  Year over year, the South had the best performance with a 100.29% rise in its rate.  The Northeast had the worst performance with a 182.75% rise in its rate.

The Northeast has an unemployment rate higher than 41 out of 50 states.  The South has an unemployment rate that is lower than just over half of the states in the country besting 29 out of 50 states.

The South has the smallest range in unemployment rates this month with a low of 5.6% in Alabama and Georgia to a high of 8.9% in West Virginia.  The West has the greatest range with a low of 4.1% in Utah to a high of 13.2% in Nevada.

Sources

Bureau of Labor Statistics.  2020.  "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release."  Accessed October 6, 2020.  https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.

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