Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Economic News Release
PRINT:Print
LAU LAU Program Links

Regional and State Unemployment, 2021 Annual Average Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Wednesday, March 2, 2022                           USDL-22-0342

Technical information:  (202) 691-6392  *  lausinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/lau 
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                  REGIONAL AND STATE UNEMPLOYMENT -- 2021 ANNUAL AVERAGES


In 2021, annual average unemployment rates decreased in 49 states and the District
of Columbia, while the rate was little changed in 1 state, the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported today. Employment-population ratios increased in 38 states and
the District, decreased in 1 state, and were little changed in 11 states. The U.S.
jobless rate declined by 2.8 percentage points from the prior year to 5.3 percent,
while the national employment-population ratio rose by 1.6 points to 58.4 percent. 

Regional Unemployment

Unemployment rates decreased from 2020 in all four regions: the Northeast (-2.9
percentage points), the Midwest and West (-2.8 points each), and the South (-2.4
points). The Midwest, 4.7 percent, and South, 4.8 percent, registered jobless rates
lower than the U.S. rate in 2021, while the Northeast and West, 6.3 percent and 6.2
percent, respectively, had rates higher than the national figure. (See table 1.)
 
All nine geographic divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases in 2021,
with the largest of these occurring in the East North Central and Pacific (-3.4 
percentage points and -3.0 points, respectively). The smallest rate decreases were
in the West North Central (-2.0 percentage points) and West South Central (-2.1
points). The West North Central had the lowest jobless rate, 3.7 percent. The East
South Central, Mountain, and South Atlantic divisions also had rates below the
national figure. The highest jobless rates among the divisions were in the Pacific
and Middle Atlantic, 6.8 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.

 _______________________________________________________________________________
|										|
|              Changes to Local Area Unemployment Statistics Data               |
|										|
| Effective with this news release, data for regions, divisions, states, the 	|
| District of Columbia, and modeled substate areas have been re-estimated from  |
| 2017 through 2021. The annual average data shown in tables 1 and 2 were 	|
| affected, as were monthly seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted 	|
| data. Information on these data revisions is available at 			|
| www.bls.gov/lau/important-information-on-revisions-to-data-for-model-based-	|
| areas-in-2022.htm. 								|
|_______________________________________________________________________________|


State Unemployment

In 2021, 49 states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases and
1 state had little change. The largest decreases occurred in Hawaii and Nevada (-6.3
percentage points each). Fifteen additional states had rate declines of at least
3.0 percentage points. (See table A.)

Nebraska had the lowest jobless rate among the states, 2.5 percent, followed by 
Utah, 2.7 percent. California and Nevada had the highest unemployment rates in 2021,
7.3 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively. Overall, 25 states had unemployment rates
lower than the U.S. figure of 5.3 percent, 9 states and the District of Columbia 
had higher rates, and 16 states had rates that were not appreciably different from
that of the nation. (See table B.)

Regional Employment-Population Ratios

In 2021, all four census regions had increases in their employment-population ratios--
the proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and over
who are employed. The West had the largest ratio increase (+1.9 percentage points).
The Midwest had the highest employment-population ratio, 60.5 percent, while the South
and Northeast had the lowest ratios, 57.6 percent and 57.7 percent, respectively. (See
table 2.)

All nine census divisions had over-the-year increases in their employment-population
ratios in 2021, the largest of which were in the Pacific (+2.0 percentage points) and
East North Central (+1.9 points) and the smallest of which was in the West North 
Central (+0.6 point). Four divisions had ratios notably higher than the U.S. ratio of
58.4 percent: the West North Central, 63.7 percent; New England, 60.7 percent; the
Mountain, 60.2 percent; and the East North Central, 59.0 percent. Four divisions had
ratios that were lower than the national average: the East South Central, 55.4 percent;
Middle Atlantic, 56.7 percent; Pacific, 57.4 percent; and South Atlantic, 57.6 percent. 

State Employment-Population Ratios

In 2021, the largest employment-population ratio increases among the states occurred
in Hawaii (+4.5 percentage points) and Nevada (+3.1 points). Thirty-six additional
states and the District of Columbia also had increases in their ratios. Vermont had
the only over-the-year decrease in its employment-population ratio (-1.4 percentage
points). The remaining 11 states had ratios that were not notably different from those
of the previous year, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically
as the significant changes. (See table C.)

Nebraska had the highest proportion of employed persons in 2021, 67.7 percent,
followed by South Dakota, 66.4 percent. West Virginia and Mississippi had the lowest
employment-population ratios among the states, 51.9 percent and 52.0 percent,
respectively. Virginia and Wyoming had the lowest employment-population ratios in their
series in 2021, 60.4 percent and 61.2 percent, respectively. (All region, division, 
and state series begin in 1976.) Overall, 22 states and the District of Columbia had
employment-population ratios higher than the U.S. ratio of 58.4 percent, 15 states had
lower ratios, and 13 states had ratios that were not appreciably different from that
of the nation. (See table D.)

_____________
The State Employment and Unemployment news release for January 2022 is scheduled
to be released on Monday, March 14, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. (ET). The Metropolitan
Area Employment and Unemployment news release for January 2022 is scheduled to
be released on Friday, March 18, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).


 _______________________________________________________________________________
|										|
|     Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on 2021 Household Survey Data     	|
|										|
| The "Impact summary" documents associated with the Employment Situation news	|
| release listed at www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-and-	|
| response-on-the-employment-situation-news-release.htm#summaries extensively	|
| discuss the monthly impacts of a misclassification in the household survey	|
| on the national estimates from March 2020 through December 2021. Despite the	|
| considerable decline in its degree relative to the initial months of the	|
| pandemic, this misclassification continued to be widespread geographically	|
| into 2021, with BLS analysis indicating that most states still were affected	|
| to at least some extent. However, according to usual practice, the data from	|
| the household survey are accepted as recorded. To maintain data integrity,	|
| no ad hoc actions are taken to reclassify survey responses. Hence, the	|
| household survey estimates of employed and unemployed people that serve as	|
| the primary inputs to the state models were affected to varying degrees by	|
| the misclassification, which in turn affected the monthly estimates 		|
| underlying the annual averages presented in this news release.		|
|_______________________________________________________________________________|

 
 
Table A.  States with statistically significant unemployment rate changes, 
2020-21 annual averages
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                |          Rate           |               
                                |-------------------------| Over-the-year 
             State              |            |            |  rate change  
                                |    2020    |    2021    |               
--------------------------------|------------|------------|---------------
Alabama ........................|     6.5    |     3.4    |      -3.1
Alaska .........................|     8.2    |     6.4    |      -1.8
Arizona ........................|     7.7    |     4.9    |      -2.8
Arkansas .......................|     6.1    |     4.0    |      -2.1
California .....................|    10.2    |     7.3    |      -2.9
Colorado .......................|     6.9    |     5.4    |      -1.5
Connecticut ....................|     7.8    |     6.3    |      -1.5
Delaware .......................|     7.6    |     5.3    |      -2.3
District of Columbia ...........|     8.0    |     6.6    |      -1.4
Florida ........................|     8.2    |     4.6    |      -3.6
                                |            |            |          
Georgia ........................|     6.5    |     3.9    |      -2.6
Hawaii .........................|    12.0    |     5.7    |      -6.3
Idaho ..........................|     5.5    |     3.6    |      -1.9
Illinois .......................|     9.2    |     6.1    |      -3.1
Indiana ........................|     7.2    |     3.6    |      -3.6
Iowa ...........................|     5.1    |     4.2    |       -.9
Kansas .........................|     5.7    |     3.2    |      -2.5
Kentucky .......................|     6.4    |     4.7    |      -1.7
Louisiana ......................|     8.7    |     5.5    |      -3.2
Maryland .......................|     6.7    |     5.8    |       -.9
                                |            |            |          
Massachusetts ..................|     9.4    |     5.7    |      -3.7
Michigan .......................|    10.0    |     5.9    |      -4.1
Minnesota ......................|     6.3    |     3.4    |      -2.9
Mississippi ....................|     7.9    |     5.6    |      -2.3
Missouri .......................|     6.1    |     4.4    |      -1.7
Montana ........................|     5.8    |     3.4    |      -2.4
Nebraska .......................|     4.1    |     2.5    |      -1.6
Nevada .........................|    13.5    |     7.2    |      -6.3
New Hampshire ..................|     6.7    |     3.5    |      -3.2
New Jersey .....................|     9.5    |     6.3    |      -3.2
                                |            |            |          
New Mexico .....................|     8.1    |     6.8    |      -1.3
New York .......................|     9.9    |     6.9    |      -3.0
North Carolina .................|     7.1    |     4.8    |      -2.3
North Dakota ...................|     5.1    |     3.7    |      -1.4
Ohio ...........................|     8.2    |     5.1    |      -3.1
Oklahoma .......................|     6.2    |     3.8    |      -2.4
Oregon .........................|     7.6    |     5.2    |      -2.4
Pennsylvania ...................|     9.1    |     6.3    |      -2.8
Rhode Island ...................|     9.2    |     5.6    |      -3.6
South Carolina .................|     6.0    |     4.0    |      -2.0
                                |            |            |          
South Dakota ...................|     4.3    |     3.1    |      -1.2
Tennessee ......................|     7.4    |     4.3    |      -3.1
Texas ..........................|     7.7    |     5.7    |      -2.0
Utah ...........................|     4.7    |     2.7    |      -2.0
Vermont ........................|     5.6    |     3.4    |      -2.2
Virginia .......................|     6.2    |     3.9    |      -2.3
Washington .....................|     8.5    |     5.2    |      -3.3
West Virginia ..................|     8.2    |     5.0    |      -3.2
Wisconsin ......................|     6.3    |     3.8    |      -2.5
Wyoming ........................|     5.8    |     4.5    |      -1.3
--------------------------------------------------------------------------


Table B.  States with unemployment rates significantly differ-
ent from that of the U.S., 2021 annual averages
--------------------------------------------------------------
                State                |          Rate
--------------------------------------------------------------
United States .......................|           5.3
                                     |              
Alabama .............................|           3.4
Alaska ..............................|           6.4
Arkansas ............................|           4.0
California ..........................|           7.3
Connecticut .........................|           6.3
District of Columbia ................|           6.6
Florida .............................|           4.6
Georgia .............................|           3.9
Idaho ...............................|           3.6
Illinois ............................|           6.1
                                     |              
Indiana .............................|           3.6
Iowa ................................|           4.2
Kansas ..............................|           3.2
Kentucky ............................|           4.7
Minnesota ...........................|           3.4
Missouri ............................|           4.4
Montana .............................|           3.4
Nebraska ............................|           2.5
Nevada ..............................|           7.2
New Hampshire .......................|           3.5
                                     |              
New Jersey ..........................|           6.3
New Mexico ..........................|           6.8
New York ............................|           6.9
North Carolina ......................|           4.8
North Dakota ........................|           3.7
Oklahoma ............................|           3.8
Pennsylvania ........................|           6.3
South Carolina ......................|           4.0
South Dakota ........................|           3.1
Tennessee ...........................|           4.3
                                     |              
Utah ................................|           2.7
Vermont .............................|           3.4
Virginia ............................|           3.9
Wisconsin ...........................|           3.8
Wyoming .............................|           4.5
--------------------------------------------------------------


Table C.  States with statistically significant employment-population 
ratio changes, 2020-21 annual averages
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                |          Ratio          |               
                                |-------------------------| Over-the-year 
             State              |            |            | ratio change  
                                |    2020    |    2021    |               
--------------------------------|------------|------------|---------------
Alabama ........................|    53.6    |    54.6    |       1.0
Alaska .........................|    58.5    |    60.9    |       2.4
Arizona ........................|    56.5    |    58.1    |       1.6
California .....................|    54.7    |    56.6    |       1.9
Colorado .......................|    62.8    |    64.6    |       1.8
Delaware .......................|    56.6    |    58.4    |       1.8
District of Columbia ...........|    63.7    |    65.2    |       1.5
Florida ........................|    53.0    |    55.6    |       2.6
Georgia ........................|    57.3    |    59.4    |       2.1
Hawaii .........................|    51.9    |    56.4    |       4.5
                                |            |            |          
Illinois .......................|    57.2    |    59.1    |       1.9
Indiana ........................|    58.3    |    60.3    |       2.0
Kansas .........................|    62.7    |    64.2    |       1.5
Kentucky .......................|    53.5    |    55.0    |       1.5
Louisiana ......................|    52.6    |    54.6    |       2.0
Massachusetts ..................|    59.0    |    61.7    |       2.7
Michigan .......................|    54.1    |    55.7    |       1.6
Mississippi ....................|    50.3    |    52.0    |       1.7
Missouri .......................|    59.1    |    60.3    |       1.2
Montana ........................|    59.1    |    60.2    |       1.1
                                |            |            |          
Nebraska .......................|    66.6    |    67.7    |       1.1
Nevada .........................|    53.0    |    56.1    |       3.1
New Hampshire ..................|    62.2    |    63.3    |       1.1
New Jersey .....................|    57.0    |    59.1    |       2.1
New Mexico .....................|    51.9    |    52.8    |        .9
New York .......................|    53.3    |    55.0    |       1.7
North Carolina .................|    54.8    |    56.7    |       1.9
Ohio ...........................|    56.5    |    58.4    |       1.9
Oklahoma .......................|    56.7    |    58.3    |       1.6
Oregon .........................|    56.7    |    59.0    |       2.3
                                |            |            |          
Pennsylvania ...................|    56.5    |    57.6    |       1.1
Rhode Island ...................|    57.5    |    60.0    |       2.5
South Carolina .................|    54.0    |    55.1    |       1.1
Tennessee ......................|    56.0    |    57.8    |       1.8
Texas ..........................|    57.9    |    59.7    |       1.8
Utah ...........................|    64.6    |    66.1    |       1.5
Vermont ........................|    60.3    |    58.9    |      -1.4
Washington .....................|    58.9    |    60.3    |       1.4
West Virginia ..................|    49.7    |    51.9    |       2.2
Wisconsin ......................|    62.0    |    64.0    |       2.0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------


Table D.  States with employment-population ratios significantly
different from that of the U.S., 2021 annual averages
----------------------------------------------------------------
                State                |          Ratio          
----------------------------------------------------------------
United States .......................|           58.4
                                     |               
Alabama .............................|           54.6
Alaska ..............................|           60.9
Arkansas ............................|           54.2
California ..........................|           56.6
Colorado ............................|           64.6
District of Columbia ................|           65.2
Florida .............................|           55.6
Hawaii ..............................|           56.4
Idaho ...............................|           60.3
Indiana .............................|           60.3
                                     |               
Iowa ................................|           64.1
Kansas ..............................|           64.2
Kentucky ............................|           55.0
Louisiana ...........................|           54.6
Maryland ............................|           61.5
Massachusetts .......................|           61.7
Michigan ............................|           55.7
Minnesota ...........................|           65.0
Mississippi .........................|           52.0
Missouri ............................|           60.3
                                     |               
Montana .............................|           60.2
Nebraska ............................|           67.7
Nevada ..............................|           56.1
New Hampshire .......................|           63.3
New Mexico ..........................|           52.8
New York ............................|           55.0
North Carolina ......................|           56.7
North Dakota ........................|           66.0
Rhode Island ........................|           60.0
South Carolina ......................|           55.1
                                     |               
South Dakota ........................|           66.4
Texas ...............................|           59.7
Utah ................................|           66.1
Virginia ............................|           60.4
Washington ..........................|           60.3
West Virginia .......................|           51.9
Wisconsin ...........................|           64.0
Wyoming .............................|           61.2
----------------------------------------------------------------



Last Modified Date: March 02, 2022