The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US state as of September 2020, the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior. The unemployment rate continues to drop in most states resulting in 34 states with an unemployment rate below eight percent, and one - Nebraska - with a rate below four percent.
- The difference between the state with the lowest unemployment rate, Nebraska, and the state with the highest, Hawaii, is 11.60 percentage points (up from 9.30 last month and up from 3.80 last year). Nebraska had the lowest rate last month while North Dakota, South Carolina, and Vermont had the lowest rate last year. Nevada had the highest rate last month while Alaska had the highest rate last year.
- Hawaii has 4.31 times the unemployment rate that Nebraska does. The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was up from 3.33 last month and up from 2.58 last year.
- The median unemployment rate in the 50 US states is 6.70 (down from 7.15 last month and up from 3.50 last year) and the mean 7.18 (down from 7.76 the previous month and up from 3.54 last year).
- Zero states saw no change in the unemployment rate from the previous month, 38 saw an improvement, and 12 saw the rate increase.
- Zero states saw no change in the unemployment rate from last year, while zero saw an improvement over the prior year's rate, and 50 saw the unemployment rate increase over the year.
- Data is from September 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, New Jersey had the best performance over the previous month dropping 4.4 percentage points. Hawaii had the worst performance with an increase of 2.1 percentage points in the unemployment rate. Year over year, Nebraska had the best performance with a 0.5 percentage point rise while Hawaii had the worst performance with a 12.4 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate.
In relative terms, New Jersey had the best performance over the previous month with a 39.64% drop in its rate while Idaho had the worst performance with an 45.24% rise in its rate. Year over year, Alaska had the best performance with a 16.13% rise in its rate while Hawaii had the worst performance with a 459.26% rise in its rate.
One state has an unemployment rate below four percent (up from 0 last month, down from 40 last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages. Thirty-four have a rate between four and eight percent (up from 32 last month, up from 10 last year), and 15 have a rate above eight percent (down from 18 last month, up from 0 last year).
Kentucky (from 30th lowest unemployment rate to 12th lowest) and New Jersey (from 43rd to 25th) each bested 18 states between last month and this. On the other hand, Texas (from 21st to 39th) was bested by 18 states. Year-over-year, Kentucky (from 43rd to 12th) surpassed 31 states. Conversely, Hawaii (from 7th to 50th) was surpassed by 43 states.
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Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2020. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed November 6, 2020. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.