The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US region as of May 2021, the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior. All four regions saw a drop in their rate over the previous year.
- The difference between the region with the lowest unemployment rate, the Midwest, and the region with the highest, the Northeast, is 2.07 percentage points (down from 2.42 last month and down from 2.60 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 highest rate last year.
- The Northeast has 1.43 times the unemployment rate that the Midwest does (down from 1.51 last month and up from 1.23 last year).
- Of the four regions, 0 saw no change in the rate from the previous month, 3 saw an improvement, and 1 saw a deterioration.
- Of the four regions, 0 saw no change in the rate from last year, 4 saw an improvement, and 0 saw a deterioration.
- Data is from May 2021.
- 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 Northeast had the best performance over the previous month dropping its rate 0.30 percentage points. The Midwest had the worst performance raising its rate 0.05 percentage points. Year over year, the Midwest had the best performance dropping its rate 8.50 percentage points. The South had the worst performance dropping its rate 6.23 percentage points.
In relative terms, the Northeast had the best performance over the previous month dropping its rate 4.20%. The Midwest had the worst performance raising its rate 1.06%. Year over year, the Midwest had the best performance with a 64.01% drop in its rate. The West had the worst performance with a 50.61% drop in its rate.
The Northeast has an unemployment rate higher than 40 out of 50 states. The Midwest has an unemployment rate that is lower than more than half of the states in the country besting 28 out of 50 states.
The South has the smallest range in unemployment rates this month with a low of 3.4% in Alabama to a high of 7.1% in Louisiana. The West has the greatest range with a low of 2.7% in Utah to a high of 8.1% in Hawaii.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2021. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed July 12, 2021. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.