The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US state as of October 2021, the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior. Seven states have an unemployment rate below three percent.
- The difference between the state with the lowest unemployment rate, Nebraska, and the states with the highest, California and Nevada, is 5.40 percentage points (down from 5.50 last month and down from 10.40 last year). Nebraska had the lowest rate last month and the lowest rate last year. California and Nevada had the highest rate last month and Hawaii had the highest rate last year.
- California and Nevada have 3.84 times the unemployment rate that Nebraska does. The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was up from 3.75 last month and down from 3.89 last year.
- The median unemployment rate in the 50 US states is 4.35 (down from 4.65 last month and down from 6.00 last year) and the mean 4.58 (down from 4.75 the previous month and down from 6.45 last year).
- Of the 50 states, 4 saw no change in the unemployment rate from the previous month, 43 saw an improvement, and 3 saw the rate increase.
- Of the 50 states, 0 saw no change in the unemployment rate from last year, 49 saw an improvement over the prior year's rate, and 1 saw the unemployment rate increase over the year.
- Data is from October 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.
In absolute terms, Arizona had the best performance over the previous month dropping 0.5 percentage points. Rhode Island had the worst performance with an increase of 0.2 percentage points in the unemployment rate. Year over year, Hawaii had the best performance with a 7.7 percentage point drop while Maine had the worst performance with a 0.1 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate.
In relative terms, Oklahoma had the best performance over the previous month with a 10.00% drop in the rate while Rhode Island had the worst performance with an 3.85% rise in the rate. Year over year, Hawaii had the best performance with a 55.00% drop in the rate while Maine had the worst performance with a 2.08% rise in the rate.
Of the 50 states, 20 have an unemployment rate below four percent (up from 17 last month, up from 3 last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages. Of the 50, 30 have a rate between four and eight percent (down from 33 last month, down from 38 last year), and 0 have a rate above eight percent (same as 0 last month, down from 9 last year).
Arizona (from 36th lowest unemployment rate to 31st lowest) rose 5 spots between last month and this. On the other hand, Rhode Island (from 30th to 34th) fell 4 spots. Year-over-year, Georgia (from 25th to 8th) and Tennessee (from 40th to 23rd) rose 17 spots. Conversely, Maine (from 11th to 28th) fell 17 spots.
|State||Last Year||Previous Rate||Latest Rate|
Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2021. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed December 9, 2021. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.