The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US region as of February 2019, the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior. The South continues to hold the lowest unemployment rate as it did last month but was the rate that showed the greatest deterioration over the previous month.
- The difference between the region with the lowest unemployment rate, the South, and the region with the highest, the West, is 0.54 percentage points (same as last month but up from 0.48 last year when the Northeast held the highest rate and the Midwest the lowest).
- The West has 1.15 times the unemployment rate that the South does (same as last month but up from 1.13 last year).
- The West has an unemployment rate that is higher than every state in the Northeast.
- Data is from February 2019.
- All figures are rounded to the nearest hundredth.
- The Southern US consists of Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
- 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 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 biggest monthly improvement dropping its rate 0.02 percentage points from 3.78% to 3.76%. The South and the West each had the greatest deterioration over the previous month raising their rates 0.01 percentage points from a rate of 3.67% to a rate of 3.68% in the South and from 4.21% to to 4.22% in the West. Year over year, the Northeast saw the greatest improvement dropping its rate 0.49 percentage points from 4.25% to 3.76%. The West saw the greatest deterioration raising its rate 0.01 percentage points from 4.21% to 4.22%.
In relative terms, the Northeast had the biggest monthly improvement dropping its rate 0.53%. The South had the greatest deterioration over the previous month raising its rate 0.27%. Year over year, the Northeast saw the greatest improvement with a 11.53% drop in its rate. The West saw the greatest deterioration with a 0.24% rise in its rate.
The Northeast has the smallest range in unemployment rates this month with a low of 2.4% in New Hampshire and Vermont to a high of 4.0% in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The West has the greatest range with a low of 2.7% in Hawaii to a high of 6.5% in Alaska.
The South's state with the lowest rate, Virginia, had a higher unemployment rate - 2.9% - than all other region's states with the lowest rate (the Midwest's Iowa and North Dakota with a 2.4%, the Northeast's New Hampshire and Vermont with a 2.4%, and the West's Hawaii with a 2.7%). The Northeast's states with the highest rate, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, had a lower unemployment rate - 4.0% - than all other regions' states with the highest rate (the Midwest's Ohio with a 4.6%, the South's West Virginia with a 5.2%, and the West's Alaska with a 6.5%).
Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2019. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed April 10, 2019. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.