US Unemployment Rates, November 2020

Jan 12, 2021
Unemployment Rate in US States

The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US state as of November 2020, the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior.  The unemployment rate continues to drop in most states resulting in five states with a rate below four percent.

Findings

  • The difference between the states with the lowest unemployment rate, Nebraska and Vermont, and the state with the highest, New Jersey, is 7.10 percentage points (down from 11.20 last month and up from 3.70 last year).  Nebraska had the lowest rate last month while North Dakota, South Carolina, Utah, and Vermont had the lowest rate last year.  Hawaii had the highest rate last month while Alaska had the highest rate last year.
  • New Jersey has 3.29 times the unemployment rate that Nebraska and Vermont do.  The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was down from 4.73 last month and up from 2.54 last year.
  • The median unemployment rate in the 50 US states is 5.95 (down from 6.10 last month and up from 3.45 last year) and the mean 6.06 (down from 6.35 the previous month and up from 3.53 last year).
  • Of the 50 states, five saw no change in the unemployment rate from the previous month, 34 saw an improvement, and 11 saw the rate increase.
  • Of the 50 states, zero saw no change in the unemployment rate from last year, zero saw an improvement over the prior year's rate, and 50 saw the unemployment rate increase over the year.

Caveats

  • Data is from November 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.

Details

In absolute terms, Hawaii had the best performance over the previous month dropping 4.1 percentage points.  Alaska and New Jersey had the worst performance with an increase of 2.2 percentage points in the unemployment rate.  Year over year, Nebraska and South Dakota had the best performance with a 0.1 percentage point rise while Hawaii had the worst performance with a 7.5 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate.

In relative terms, Hawaii had the best performance over the previous month with a 28.87% drop in its rate while Alaska had the worst performance with an 37.29% rise in its rate.  Year over year, South Dakota had the best performance with a 2.94% rise in its rate while Hawaii had the worst performance with a 288.46% rise in its rate.

Five states have an unemployment rate below four percent (up from 4 last month, down from 39 last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages.  Thirty-six have a rate between four and eight percent (down from 40 last month, up from 11 last year), and nine have a rate above eight percent (up from 6 last month, up from 0 last year).

Tennessee (from 36th lowest unemployment rate to 20th lowest) rose 16 spots between last month and this.  On the other hand, Alaska (from 21st to 42nd) fell 21 spots.  Year-over-year, Delaware (from 40th to 18th) and Kentucky (from 43rd to 21st) rose 22 spots.  Conversely, Hawaii (from 6th to 48th) fell 42 spots.

Data

StateLast YearPrevious RateLatest Rate
Alabama2.75.74.4
Alaska6.15.98.1
Arizona4.57.97.8
Arkansas3.56.26.2
California3.998.2
Colorado2.56.46.4
Connecticut3.86.18.2
Delaware45.65.1
Florida2.86.46.4
Georgia3.14.55.7
Hawaii2.614.210.1
Idaho2.95.54.8
Illinois3.77.46.9
Indiana3.25.55
Iowa2.83.73.6
Kansas3.155.6
Kentucky4.37.35.6
Louisiana5.29.48.3
Maine35.45
Maryland3.47.76.8
Massachusetts2.87.46.7
Michigan3.96.16.9
Minnesota3.34.64.4
Mississippi5.67.46.4
Missouri3.44.64.4
Montana3.554.9
Nebraska333.1
Nevada3.711.910.1
New Hampshire2.64.23.8
New Jersey3.7810.2
New Mexico4.88.17.5
New York3.99.28.4
North Carolina3.66.26.2
North Dakota2.44.74.5
Ohio4.16.15.7
Oklahoma3.46.25.9
Oregon3.46.86
Pennsylvania4.67.46.6
Rhode Island3.57.17.3
South Carolina2.44.24.4
South Dakota3.43.73.5
Tennessee3.37.35.3
Texas3.56.98.1
Utah2.44.14.3
Vermont2.43.23.1
Virginia2.75.24.9
Washington466
West Virginia5.16.46.2
Wisconsin3.565
Wyoming3.75.55.1

Sources

Bureau of Labor Statistics.  2021.  "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release."  Accessed January 12, 2020.  https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.

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