The chart above shows the unemployment rate in each US state as of January 2021, the change from the previous month, and the rate one year prior. The unemployment rate continues to drop in most states resulting in nine states with a rate below four percent.
- The difference between the states with the lowest unemployment rate, South Dakota and Utah, and the state with the highest, Hawaii, is 7.10 percentage points (up from 7.00 last month and up from 3.60 last year). South Dakota and Utah had the lowest rate last month while Hawaii had the lowest rate last year. Hawaii had the highest rate last month while Mississippi had the highest rate last year.
- Hawaii has 3.29 times the unemployment rate that South Dakota and Utah do. The ratio of highest rate to lowest rate was up from 3.12 last month and up from 2.80 last year.
- The median unemployment rate in the 50 US states is 5.30 (down from 5.60 last month and up from 3.50 last year) and the mean 5.72 (down from 5.98 the previous month and up from 3.54 last year).
- Of the 50 states, zero saw no change in the unemployment rate from the previous month, 43 saw an improvement, and seven 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.
- Data is from January 2021.
- 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 2.5 percentage points. Maine, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania had the worst performance with an increase of 0.2 percentage points in the unemployment rate. Year over year, South Dakota had the best performance with a 0.2 percentage point rise while Hawaii had the worst performance with an 8.2 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate.
In relative terms, Michigan had the best performance over the previous month with a 30.49% drop in its rate while Maine had the worst performance with an 4.00% rise in its rate. Year over year, South Dakota had the best performance with a 6.90% rise in its rate while Hawaii had the worst performance with a 410.00% rise in its rate.
Nine states have an unemployment rate below four percent (up from 7 last month, down from 37 last year) which traditionally has placed inflationary pressure on wages. Thirty-five have a rate between four and eight percent (same as 35 last month, up from 13 last year), and six have a rate above eight percent (down from 8 last month, up from 0 last year).
Michigan (from 43rd lowest unemployment rate to 27th lowest) rose 16 spots between last month and this. On the other hand, New Jersey (from 39th to 44th) fell 5 spots. Year-over-year, Wyoming (from 42nd to 19th) rose 23 spots. Conversely, Hawaii (from 1st to 50th) fell 49 spots.
|State||Last Year||Previous Rate||Latest Rate|
Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2021. "State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release." Accessed March 22, 2021. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm.