EU and US Unemployment Rates, February 2021

Apr 13, 2021
Unemployment Rate in EU and US States

The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each EU and US state as of February 2021 (unless otherwise noted - see caveats below), the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior.  South Dakota is the only state that has a rate below three percent.

Findings

  • The difference between the states with the lowest unemployment rate, South Dakota, and the state with the highest, Spain, is 13.20 percentage points (up from 13.10 last month and down from 14.60 last year).  Poland, South Dakota, and Utah had the lowest rate last month and Czechia had the lowest rate last year.  Greece had the highest rate last month and the highest rate last year.
  • Spain has 5.55 times the unemployment rate that South Dakota does.  The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was up from 5.23 last month and down from 9.11 last year.
  • The median unemployment rate in the 28 EU states is 6.40 (same as 6.40 the previous month and up from 5.00 last year) and the mean 6.99 (up from 6.94 the previous month and up from 5.89 last year).
  • The median unemployment rate in the 50 US states is 5.20 (down from 5.30 last month and up from 3.60 last year) and the mean 5.58 (down from 5.73 the previous month and up from 3.63 last year).
  • The median unemployment rate in the 78 EU and US states is 5.70 (down from 5.75 last month and up from 3.75 last year) and the mean 6.09 (down from 6.17 the previous month and up from 4.44 last year).
  • Of the 78 states, 18 (8 US, 10 EU) saw no change in the unemployment rate from the previous month, 42 saw an improvement (34 US, 8 EU), and 18 saw the rate increase (8 US, 10 EU).
  • Of the 78 states, 2 (2 US, 0 EU) saw no change in the unemployment rate from last year, 1 saw an improvement (0 US, 1 EU), and 75 saw the unemployment rate increase over the year (48 US, 27 EU).

Caveats

  • Data is from February 2021 except for Estonia and Hungary which are from January 2021 and Finland, Greece, and the United Kingdom which are from December 2020 (previous month and year rates also reflect the respective one and two month delay).
  • 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.

Details

In absolute terms, Hawaii had the best performance over the previous month dropping 1.1 percentage points.  Hungary had the worst performance rising 0.8 percentage points.  Year over year, Greece had the best performance with a 0.6 percentage point drop while Hawaii had the worst performance with a 7.1 percentage point rise.

In relative terms, Hawaii had the best performance over the previous month with a 10.68% drop in the rate while Hungary had the worst performance with a 19.51% rise in the rate.  Year over year, Greece had the best performance with a 3.66% drop in the rate while Hawaii had the worst performance with a 338.10% rise in the rate.

Of the 78 states, 13 states (10 US, 3 EU) have an unemployment rate below four percent (up from 12 - 9 US, 3 EU - last month and down from 43 - 36 US, 7 EU - last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages, 52 (34 US, 18 EU) have a rate between four and eight percent (down from 54 - 35 US, 19 EU - last month, up from 32 - 14 US, 18 EU - last year), and 13 (6 US, 7 EU) have a rate above eight percent (up from 12 - 6 US, 6 EU - last month, up from 3 - 0 US, 3 EU - last year).

Michigan (from 38th lowest unemployment rate to 30th lowest out of 78) rose 8 spots between last month and this month.  On the other hand, Hungary (from 14th to 26th) fell 12 spots.  Year-over-year, Ohio (from 53rd to 29th) rose 24 spots.  Conversely, Hawaii (from 2nd to 74th) fell 72 spots.

Sources

Bureau of Labor Statistics.  2021.  "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release."  Accessed April 9, 2021.  https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.

Eurostat.  2021.  "Unemployment by Sex and Age - Monthly Average."  Accessed April 12, 2021.  https://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?query=BOOKMARK_DS-055624_QID_4472AF17_UID_-3F171EB0&layout=TIME,C,X,0;GEO,L,Y,0;S_ADJ,L,Z,0;AGE,L,Z,1;UNIT,L,Z,2;SEX,L,Z,3;INDICATORS,C,Z,4;&zSelection=DS-055624AGE,TOTAL;DS-055624S_ADJ,SA;DS-055624UNIT,PC_ACT;DS-055624SEX,T;DS-055624INDICATORS,OBS_FLAG;&rankName1=UNIT_1_2_-1_2&rankName2=AGE_1_2_-1_2&rankName3=INDICATORS_1_2_-1_2&rankName4=SEX_1_2_-1_2&rankName5=S-ADJ_1_2_-1_2&rankName6=TIME_1_0_0_0&rankName7=GEO_1_2_0_1&sortC=ASC_-1_FIRST&rStp=&cStp=&rDCh=&cDCh=&rDM=true&cDM=true&footnes=false&empty=false&wai=false&time_mode=NONE&time_most_recent=false&lang=EN&cfo=%23%23%23%2C%23%23%23.%23%23%23.

Office for National Statistics.  2021.  "X01: Labour Force Survey Single-Month Estimates."  Accessed April 12, 2021.  https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/datasets/labourforcesurveysinglemonthestimatesx01.