EU and US Unemployment Rates, September 2019

Nov 8, 2019
Unemployment Rate in EU and US States

The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each EU and US state as of September 2019 (unless otherwise noted - see caveats below), the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior.  Czechia is the only EU state with an unemployment rate below three percent.  Twelve US states have a rate below three percent.

Findings

  • The difference between the states with the lowest unemployment rate, Czechia, and the state with the highest, Greece, is 14.80 percentage points (down from 15.10 last month and down from 16.90 last year).  Czechia had the lowest rate last month and last year.  Greece had the highest rate last month and last year.
  • Greece has 8.05 times the unemployment rate that Czechia and Vermont do.  The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was down from 8.55 last month and down from 8.68 last year.
  • The median unemployment rate in the 28 EU states is 5.35 (up from 5.30 the previous month and down from 5.55 last year) and the mean 5.94 (down from 5.95 the previous month and down from 6.39 last year).
  • The median unemployment rate in the 50 US states is 3.40 (same as 3.40 last month and down from 3.70 last year) and the mean 3.56 (down from 3.57 the previous month and down from 3.68 last year).
  • The median unemployment rate in the 78 EU and US states is 3.80 (same as 3.80 last month and down from 3.90 last year) and the mean 4.41 (down from 4.43 the previous month and down from 4.66 last year).
  • Thirty-one states (20 from the US and 11 from the EU) did not see a change in their unemployment rate from the previous month, 27 saw an improvement (18 from the US and 9 from the EU), and 20 saw their rate increase (12 from the US and 8 from the EU).
  • Six states (3 from the US and 3 from the EU) did not see a change in their unemployment rate from last year, while 52 saw an improvement (30 from the US and 22 from the EU), and 20 saw their unemployment rate increase over the year (17 from the US and 3 from the EU).

Caveats

  • Data is from September 2019 except for Estonia and Hungary which are from August 2019 and Greece and the United Kingdom which are from July 2019 (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.
  • Data for individual states is available in the EU and US unemployment rate posts.

Details

In absolute terms, Estonia, Luxembourg, and South Carolina had the greatest improvement over the previous month dropping 0.3 percentage points.  Italy had the biggest spike in its rate rising 0.3 percentage points.  Year over year, Greece had the greatest improvement with a 2.2 percentage point drop while Sweden had the greatest deterioration with a 1.0 percentage point rise.

In relative terms, South Carolina had the greatest improvement over the previous month with a 9.37% drop in its rate while Czechia had the biggest deterioration with a 5.00% rise in its rate.  Year over year, Estonia had the greatest improvement with a 26.42% drop in its rate while Sweden had the greatest deterioration with a 15.62% rise in its rate.

Forty-four states (35 from the US and 9 from the EU) have an unemployment rate below four percent (up from 42 - 34 US, 8 EU - last month and up from 42 - 35 US, 7 EU - last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages.  Thirty (15 from the US and 15 from the EU) have a rate between four and eight percent (down from 32 - 16 US, 16 EU - last month, down from 32 - 15 US, 17 EU - last year), and four (all from the EU) have a rate above eight percent (same as last month, same as last year - all from the EU).

Estonia (from 50th lowest unemployment rate to 41st lowest) bested 9 states between last month and this month.  On the other hand, Wisconsin (from 14th to 20th) was bested by 6 states.  Year-over-year, New Jersey (from 38th to 16th) bested 22 states.  Conversely, North Carolina (from 28th to 47th) was bested by 19 states.

Sources

Bureau of Labor Statistics.  2019.  "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release."  Accessed November 7, 2019.  https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.

Eurostat.  2019.  "Unemployment by Sex and Age - Monthly Average."  Accessed November 6, 2019.  https://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?query=BOOKMARK_DS-055624_QID_7F052ED0_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-055624SEX,T;DS-055624UNIT,PC_ACT;DS-055624S_ADJ,SA;DS-055624AGE,TOTAL;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.