Unemployment rates for African Americans by state in 2015

March 04, 2016

In 2015, the unemployment rate for the United States averaged 5.3 percent. The rate for African Americans was 9.6 percent, but rates varied among the states. The lowest unemployment rates for African Americans were in Hawaii (4.1 percent), Alaska (4.6 percent), Nebraska (5.3 percent), and Colorado (5.9 percent). The highest unemployment rates for African Americans were in Iowa (14.8 percent), Minnesota (14.1 percent), and Nevada (13.5 percent).


Unemployment rates for blacks or African Americans, by state, 2015 annual averages

11.2% and higher
10.3% to 11.1%
9.0% to 10.2%
7.5% to 8.9%
7.4% and lower
U.S. rate 9.6%
Hover over a state to see data.
Hover over legend items to see states in a category.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The gap between the overall U.S. unemployment rate and the rate for African Americans in 2015 was 4.3 percentage points. Within states, the gaps were largest in Iowa (11.2 percentage points), Minnesota (10.3 points), and Connecticut (7.6 points). In Alaska and New Mexico, unemployment rates for African Americans were lower than the overall rates.

These Current Population Survey data are compiled by the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program. To learn more, see Preliminary 2015 Data on Employment Status by State and Demographic Group (XLS) (PDF). Unemployment rates are not shown for states where the survey sample size is too small to provide reliable estimates.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unemployment rates for African Americans by state in 2015 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/unemployment-rates-for-african-americans-by-state-in-2015.htm (visited September 25, 2016).


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