The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US state as of July 2020, the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior. The unemployment rate continues to drop in most states resulting in 20 states with an unemployment rate below eight percent.
- The difference between the state with the lowest unemployment rate, Utah, and the state with the highest, Massachusetts, is 11.60 percentage points (down from 13.30 last month and up from 3.80 last year). Kentucky had the lowest rate last month while North Dakota and Vermont had the lowest rate last year. Massachusetts had the highest rate last month while Alaska had the highest rate last year.
- Massachusetts has 3.58 times the unemployment rate that Utah does. The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was down from 4.02 last month and up from 2.58 last year.
- The median unemployment rate in the 50 US states is 8.55 (down from 9.00 last month and up from 3.45 last year) and the mean 9.22 (down from 9.85 the previous month and up from 3.56 last year).
- One state saw no change in the unemployment rate from the previous month, 36 saw an improvement, and 13 saw the rate increase.
- Zero states saw no change in the unemployment rate from last year, while zero saw an improvement over the prior year's rate, and 50 saw the unemployment rate increase over the year.
- Data is from July 2020.
- 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, Michigan had the best performance over the previous month dropping 6.2 percentage points. New Mexico had the worst performance with an increase of 4.3 percentage points in the unemployment rate. Year over year, Kentucky had the best performance with a 1.4 percentage point rise while Massachusetts had the worst performance with a 13.2 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate.
In relative terms, Michigan had the best performance over the previous month with a 41.61% drop in its rate while New Mexico had the worst performance with an 51.19% rise in its rate. Year over year, Kentucky had the best performance with a 32.56% rise in its rate while Massachusetts had the worst performance with a 455.17% rise in its rate.
Zero states have an unemployment rate below four percent (same as zero last month, down from 38 last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages. Twenty-two have a rate between four and eight percent (up from 15 last month, up from 12 last year), and 28 have a rate above eight percent (down from 35 last month, up from zero last year).
Colorado (from 35th lowest unemployment rate to 15th lowest) bested 20 states between last month and this. On the other hand, Maine (from 6th to 31st) was bested by 25 states. Year-over-year, Kentucky (from 43rd to 4th) surpassed 39 states. Conversely, Hawaii (from 5th to 44th) and Massachusetts (from 11th to 50th) were each surpassed by 39 states.
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Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2020. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed September 8, 2020. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.