The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US region as of September 2020, the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior. The South was the only region to see a rise in the unemployment rate 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 2.11 percentage points (down from 3.72 last month and up from 0.38 last year). The South had the lowest rate last month and the lowest rate last year. The Northeast had the highest rate last month and the West had the highest rate last year.
- The West has 1.29 times the unemployment rate that the South does (down from 1.54 last month and up from 1.11 last year).
- Of the four regions, zero saw no change in the rate from the previous month, three saw an improvement, and one saw a deterioration.
- Of the four regions, Zero saw no change in the rate from last year, zero saw an improvement, and four saw a deterioration.
- Data is from September 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.
- 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 2.21 percentage points. The South had the worst performance raising its rate 0.34 percentage points. Year over year, the Midwest had the best performance raising its rate 3.66 percentage points. The West had the worst performance raising its rate 5.53 percentage points.
In relative terms, the Northeast had the best performance over the previous month dropping its rate 20.91%. The South had the worst performance raising its rate 4.96%. Year over year, the Midwest had the best performance with a 103.10% rise in its rate. The West had the worst performance with a 146.68% rise in its rate.
The West has an unemployment rate higher than 42 out of 50 states. The South has an unemployment rate that is lower than just under half of the states in the country besting 23 out of 50 states.
The South has the smallest range in unemployment rates this month with a low of 5.1% in South Carolina to a high of 8.6% in West Virginia. The West has the greatest range with a low of 5.0% in Utah to a high of 15.1% in Hawaii.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2020. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed November 6, 2020. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.