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Economic News Release
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Regional and State Unemployment, 2020 Annual Average Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Wednesday, March 3, 2021			USDL-21-0363

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


	   REGIONAL AND STATE UNEMPLOYMENT -- 2020 ANNUAL AVERAGES


Annual average unemployment rates rose in 2020 in all regions, divisions,
and states, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment-
population ratios decreased across all of these geographic areas as well.
The U.S. jobless rate increased by 4.4 percentage points from the prior
year to 8.1 percent, while the national employment-population ratio fell
by 4.0 points to 56.8 percent. The deterioration in the labor market in
2020 reflected the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts
to contain it.

Regional Unemployment

All four regions posted unemployment rate increases from 2019, from a maximum
of 5.5 percentage points in the Northeast to a minimum of 3.7 points in the
South. The Northeast, 9.2 percent, and West, 9.0 percent, registered jobless
rates higher than the U.S. rate in 2020, while the Midwest and South, 7.6
percent and 7.2 percent, respectively, both had rates below the national
figure. (See table 1.)
 
All nine geographic divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate increases
in 2020, with the largest of these occurring in the Middle Atlantic and Pacific
(+5.8 percentage points and +5.6 points, respectively). The divisions with
the smallest rate increases were the West North Central (+2.6 percentage points)
and East South Central (+3.2 points). The highest jobless rates among the 
divisions were in the Middle Atlantic and Pacific, 9.7 percent each, followed
by the East North Central, 8.5 percent. The divisions with the lowest jobless
rates in 2020 were the West North Central, 5.7 percent, and East South Central,
7.0 percent. The Mountain, South Atlantic, and West South Central divisions
also had rates below the national figure. The unemployment rate in the Middle
Atlantic (9.7 percent) was the highest in its annual average series. (All 
region, division, and state series begin in 1976.)

  _____________________________________________________________________________
 |									       |
 |              Changes to Local Area Unemployment Statistics Data             |
 |									       |
 | All subnational estimates presented in this news release were produced      |
 | using a new generation of time-series models. Information on the changes to |
 | model-based estimation is available on the BLS website at		       |
 | www.bls.gov/lau/gen-5-changes-in-2021.htm.				       |
 |									       |
 | Effective with this news release, data have been re-estimated back to 1976  |
 | for regions, divisions, states, and the District of Columbia. The annual    |
 | average data shown in tables 1 and 2 were affected, as were monthly	       |
 | seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted data.		       |
 |_____________________________________________________________________________|


State Unemployment

In 2020, all 50 states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate
increases, the largest of which occurred in Hawaii (+9.1 percentage points)
and Nevada (+8.9 points). Seven additional states recorded rate increases of
at least 5.0 percentage points. Nebraska and South Dakota had the smallest
rate increases (+1.2 percentage points and +1.6 points, respectively). (See
table A.)

Four states reported jobless rates of 10.0 percent or more in 2020: Nevada,
12.8 percent; Hawaii, 11.6 percent; California, 10.1 percent; and New York,
10.0 percent. The rate in Hawaii was the highest in its annual average series.
Nebraska and South Dakota had the lowest jobless rates among the states, 4.2
percent and 4.6 percent, respectively. Overall, 22 states had unemployment 
rates lower than the U.S. figure of 8.1 percent, 8 states had higher rates,
and 20 states and the District of Columbia had rates that were not appreciably
different from that of the nation. (See table B.)

Regional Employment-Population Ratios

In 2020, all four census regions had decreases in their employment-population
ratios--the proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of
age and over who are employed. The Northeast (-4.6 percentage points) and West
(-4.5 points) had the largest ratio decreases. The South, 56.0 percent, and
West, 56.3 percent, had the lowest ratios, while the Midwest had the highest
ratio, 59.1 percent. The ratios in the South and West were the lowest in their
respective series. (See table 2.)

All nine census divisions had decreases in their employment-population ratios
from 2019 to 2020, the largest of which were in New England (-5.2 percentage
points) and the Pacific (-4.9 points). Four divisions had ratios that were lower
than the national average of 56.8 percent: the East South Central, 54.2 percent;
Pacific, 55.2 percent; Middle Atlantic, 55.3 percent; and South Atlantic, 55.9
percent. Three divisions had ratios notably higher than the U.S. ratio: the
West North Central, 63.2 percent; New England, 59.3 percent; and the Mountain,
58.6 percent. The Mountain (58.6 percent), Pacific (55.2 percent), South
Atlantic (55.9 percent), and West South Central (57.0 percent) each had the
lowest employment-population ratios in their respective series.

State Employment-Population Ratios

In 2020, all 50 states and the District of Columbia had over-the-year decreases
in their employment-population ratios. The largest of these declines occurred
in Nevada (-8.1 percentage points), Hawaii (-7.1 points), and Massachusetts
(-6.1 points). Three additional states recorded ratio decreases of at least 5.0
percentage points. The smallest over-the-year decrease occurred in Nebraska 
(-1.5 percentage points), followed by South Dakota and Wyoming (-1.7 points 
each). (See table C.)

Fifteen states registered the lowest employment-population ratios in their 
respective series in 2020. West Virginia and Mississippi had the lowest 
proportions of employed persons among the states, 50.3 percent and 50.6 percent,
respectively. Nebraska had the highest employment-population ratio, 66.7 percent,
followed by North Dakota, 66.0 percent. Overall, 23 states and the District of
Columbia had employment-population ratios higher than the U.S. ratio of 56.8 
percent, 15 states had lower ratios, and 12 states had ratios that were not
appreciably different from that of the nation. (See tables D and E.)

_____________
The State Employment and Unemployment news release for January 2021 is
scheduled to be released on Monday, March 15, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).
The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for
January 2021 is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 19, 2021, at
10:00 a.m. (ET).


  ______________________________________________________________________________
 |										|
 |     Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on 2020 Household Survey Data     |
 |										|
 | The 2020 annual average estimates of household employment and unemployment	|
 | presented in this news release were averaged from monthly data that were	|
 | revised using a new generation of time-series models in conjunction with	|
 | updated estimation inputs. The changes to the models were designed to allow	|
 | them to better cope with the unusually large frequency and magnitudes of	|
 | breaks in the input data attributable to the pandemic and efforts to		|
 | contain it. More information about the changes to the models is available	|
 | at www.bls.gov/lau/gen-5-changes-in-2021.htm. For the estimation inputs to	|
 | the models, BLS continued to implement level-shift outliers based on		|
 | statistical evaluation of movements in each area's inputs. Both the Current	|
 | Population Survey inputs, which serve as the primary inputs to the models,	|
 | and the nonfarm payroll employment and unemployment insurance claims		|
 | covariates were examined for outliers. The resulting implementation of	|
 | level shifts preserved movements in the published estimates that the models	|
 | otherwise would have discounted, without requiring changes to how the	|
 | models create estimates at other points in the time series.			|
 |										|
 | 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 beginning in March 2020. Despite	|
 | the considerable decline in its degree relative to the initial months of	|
 | the pandemic, this misclassification continued to be widespread		|
 | geographically through the end of 2020, with BLS analysis indicating that	|
 | most states still were affected to at least some extent as of December.	|
 | 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 2020 annual averages presented in this news release.			|
 |______________________________________________________________________________|

  
 
 Table A.  States with statistically significant unemployment rate changes, 
 2019-20 annual averages
 --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 |          Rate           |               
                                 |-------------------------| Over-the-year 
              State              |            |            |  rate change  
                                 |    2019    |    2020    |               
 --------------------------------|------------|------------|---------------
 Alabama ........................|     3.0    |     5.9    |       2.9
 Alaska .........................|     5.4    |     7.8    |       2.4
 Arizona ........................|     4.9    |     7.9    |       3.0
 Arkansas .......................|     3.5    |     6.1    |       2.6
 California .....................|     4.2    |    10.1    |       5.9
 Colorado .......................|     2.7    |     7.3    |       4.6
 Connecticut ....................|     3.6    |     7.9    |       4.3
 Delaware .......................|     3.7    |     7.8    |       4.1
 District of Columbia ...........|     5.4    |     8.0    |       2.6
 Florida ........................|     3.3    |     7.7    |       4.4
                                 |            |            |          
 Georgia ........................|     3.5    |     6.5    |       3.0
 Hawaii .........................|     2.5    |    11.6    |       9.1
 Idaho ..........................|     2.8    |     5.4    |       2.6
 Illinois .......................|     4.0    |     9.5    |       5.5
 Indiana ........................|     3.2    |     7.1    |       3.9
 Iowa ...........................|     2.8    |     5.3    |       2.5
 Kansas .........................|     3.2    |     5.9    |       2.7
 Kentucky .......................|     4.1    |     6.6    |       2.5
 Louisiana ......................|     4.7    |     8.3    |       3.6
 Maine ..........................|     2.7    |     5.4    |       2.7
                                 |            |            |          
 Maryland .......................|     3.5    |     6.8    |       3.3
 Massachusetts ..................|     3.0    |     8.9    |       5.9
 Michigan .......................|     4.1    |     9.9    |       5.8
 Minnesota ......................|     3.2    |     6.2    |       3.0
 Mississippi ....................|     5.5    |     8.1    |       2.6
 Missouri .......................|     3.3    |     6.1    |       2.8
 Montana ........................|     3.6    |     5.9    |       2.3
 Nebraska .......................|     3.0    |     4.2    |       1.2
 Nevada .........................|     3.9    |    12.8    |       8.9
 New Hampshire ..................|     2.6    |     6.7    |       4.1
                                 |            |            |          
 New Jersey .....................|     3.4    |     9.8    |       6.4
 New Mexico .....................|     5.0    |     8.4    |       3.4
 New York .......................|     3.8    |    10.0    |       6.2
 North Carolina .................|     3.8    |     7.3    |       3.5
 North Dakota ...................|     2.3    |     5.1    |       2.8
 Ohio ...........................|     4.2    |     8.1    |       3.9
 Oklahoma .......................|     3.1    |     6.1    |       3.0
 Oregon .........................|     3.7    |     7.6    |       3.9
 Pennsylvania ...................|     4.5    |     9.1    |       4.6
 Rhode Island ...................|     3.6    |     9.4    |       5.8
                                 |            |            |          
 South Carolina .................|     2.8    |     6.2    |       3.4
 South Dakota ...................|     3.0    |     4.6    |       1.6
 Tennessee ......................|     3.4    |     7.5    |       4.1
 Texas ..........................|     3.5    |     7.6    |       4.1
 Utah ...........................|     2.5    |     4.7    |       2.2
 Vermont ........................|     2.3    |     5.6    |       3.3
 Virginia .......................|     2.7    |     6.2    |       3.5
 Washington .....................|     4.1    |     8.4    |       4.3
 West Virginia ..................|     4.9    |     8.3    |       3.4
 Wisconsin ......................|     3.3    |     6.3    |       3.0
 Wyoming ........................|     3.7    |     5.8    |       2.1
 --------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
   
 Table B.  States with unemployment rates significantly differ-
 ent from that of the U.S., 2020 annual averages
 --------------------------------------------------------------
                 State                |          Rate
 --------------------------------------------------------------
 United States .......................|           8.1
                                      |              
 Alabama .............................|           5.9
 Arkansas ............................|           6.1
 California ..........................|          10.1
 Georgia .............................|           6.5
 Hawaii ..............................|          11.6
 Idaho ...............................|           5.4
 Illinois ............................|           9.5
 Indiana .............................|           7.1
 Iowa ................................|           5.3
 Kansas ..............................|           5.9
                                      |              
 Maine ...............................|           5.4
 Maryland ............................|           6.8
 Michigan ............................|           9.9
 Minnesota ...........................|           6.2
 Missouri ............................|           6.1
 Montana .............................|           5.9
 Nebraska ............................|           4.2
 Nevada ..............................|          12.8
 New Jersey ..........................|           9.8
 New York ............................|          10.0
                                      |              
 North Dakota ........................|           5.1
 Oklahoma ............................|           6.1
 Pennsylvania ........................|           9.1
 South Carolina ......................|           6.2
 South Dakota ........................|           4.6
 Utah ................................|           4.7
 Vermont .............................|           5.6
 Virginia ............................|           6.2
 Wisconsin ...........................|           6.3
 Wyoming .............................|           5.8
 --------------------------------------------------------------
 
  
 Table C.  States with statistically significant employment-population 
 ratio changes, 2019-20 annual averages
 --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 |          Ratio          |               
                                 |-------------------------| Over-the-year 
              State              |            |            | ratio change  
                                 |    2019    |    2020    |               
 --------------------------------|------------|------------|---------------
 Alabama ........................|    56.1    |    54.1    |      -2.0
 Alaska .........................|    61.3    |    58.7    |      -2.6
 Arizona ........................|    58.8    |    56.1    |      -2.7
 Arkansas .......................|    56.2    |    53.9    |      -2.3
 California .....................|    59.8    |    54.4    |      -5.4
 Colorado .......................|    66.9    |    62.8    |      -4.1
 Connecticut ....................|    64.1    |    59.8    |      -4.3
 Delaware .......................|    60.2    |    56.5    |      -3.7
 District of Columbia ...........|    67.6    |    64.6    |      -3.0
 Florida ........................|    57.4    |    52.9    |      -4.5
                                 |            |            |          
 Georgia ........................|    60.5    |    57.1    |      -3.4
 Hawaii .........................|    59.8    |    52.7    |      -7.1
 Idaho ..........................|    62.4    |    60.0    |      -2.4
 Illinois .......................|    61.9    |    56.8    |      -5.1
 Indiana ........................|    62.4    |    58.5    |      -3.9
 Iowa ...........................|    68.2    |    63.7    |      -4.5
 Kansas .........................|    64.9    |    63.1    |      -1.8
 Kentucky .......................|    56.7    |    53.8    |      -2.9
 Louisiana ......................|    56.4    |    53.2    |      -3.2
 Maine ..........................|    60.9    |    57.2    |      -3.7
                                 |            |            |          
 Maryland .......................|    66.2    |    62.0    |      -4.2
 Massachusetts ..................|    65.1    |    59.0    |      -6.1
 Michigan .......................|    59.4    |    54.6    |      -4.8
 Minnesota ......................|    67.7    |    65.3    |      -2.4
 Mississippi ....................|    52.9    |    50.6    |      -2.3
 Missouri .......................|    61.9    |    59.3    |      -2.6
 Montana ........................|    60.8    |    59.0    |      -1.8
 Nebraska .......................|    68.2    |    66.7    |      -1.5
 Nevada .........................|    61.9    |    53.8    |      -8.1
 New Hampshire ..................|    67.1    |    62.9    |      -4.2
                                 |            |            |          
 New Jersey .....................|    61.7    |    57.3    |      -4.4
 New Mexico .....................|    55.5    |    52.3    |      -3.2
 New York .......................|    58.4    |    53.7    |      -4.7
 North Carolina .................|    59.2    |    54.9    |      -4.3
 North Dakota ...................|    68.5    |    66.0    |      -2.5
 Ohio ...........................|    60.6    |    57.1    |      -3.5
 Oklahoma .......................|    59.0    |    56.8    |      -2.2
 Oregon .........................|    59.5    |    56.5    |      -3.0
 Pennsylvania ...................|    60.4    |    56.5    |      -3.9
 Rhode Island ...................|    62.4    |    56.8    |      -5.6
                                 |            |            |          
 South Carolina .................|    56.6    |    54.2    |      -2.4
 South Dakota ...................|    66.7    |    65.0    |      -1.7
 Tennessee ......................|    59.8    |    56.0    |      -3.8
 Texas ..........................|    61.7    |    57.9    |      -3.8
 Utah ...........................|    66.8    |    64.8    |      -2.0
 Vermont ........................|    64.9    |    60.1    |      -4.8
 Virginia .......................|    64.5    |    60.6    |      -3.9
 Washington .....................|    62.2    |    58.8    |      -3.4
 West Virginia ..................|    52.4    |    50.3    |      -2.1
 Wisconsin ......................|    64.6    |    61.7    |      -2.9
 Wyoming ........................|    63.2    |    61.5    |      -1.7
 --------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
  
 Table D.  States with new series low employment-population
 ratios, 2020 annual averages (1)
 ----------------------------------------------------------------
                 State                |          Ratio          
 ----------------------------------------------------------------
 Alaska ..............................|           58.7
 California ..........................|           54.4
 Delaware ............................|           56.5
 Georgia .............................|           57.1
 Hawaii ..............................|           52.7
 Illinois ............................|           56.8
 Kentucky ............................|           53.8
 Nevada ..............................|           53.8
 New Mexico ..........................|           52.3
 North Carolina ......................|           54.9
                                      |               
 Oregon ..............................|           56.5
 Rhode Island ........................|           56.8
 Texas ...............................|           57.9
 Virginia ............................|           60.6
 Wyoming .............................|           61.5
 ----------------------------------------------------------------
    (1) All state series begin in 1976.
 
   
 Table E.  States with employment-population ratios significantly
 different from that of the U.S., 2020 annual averages
 ----------------------------------------------------------------
                 State                |          Ratio          
 ----------------------------------------------------------------
 United States .......................|           56.8
                                      |               
 Alabama .............................|           54.1
 Alaska ..............................|           58.7
 Arkansas ............................|           53.9
 California ..........................|           54.4
 Colorado ............................|           62.8
 Connecticut .........................|           59.8
 District of Columbia ................|           64.6
 Florida .............................|           52.9
 Hawaii ..............................|           52.7
 Idaho ...............................|           60.0
                                      |               
 Indiana .............................|           58.5
 Iowa ................................|           63.7
 Kansas ..............................|           63.1
 Kentucky ............................|           53.8
 Louisiana ...........................|           53.2
 Maryland ............................|           62.0
 Massachusetts .......................|           59.0
 Michigan ............................|           54.6
 Minnesota ...........................|           65.3
 Mississippi .........................|           50.6
                                      |               
 Missouri ............................|           59.3
 Montana .............................|           59.0
 Nebraska ............................|           66.7
 Nevada ..............................|           53.8
 New Hampshire .......................|           62.9
 New Mexico ..........................|           52.3
 New York ............................|           53.7
 North Carolina ......................|           54.9
 North Dakota ........................|           66.0
 South Carolina ......................|           54.2
                                      |               
 South Dakota ........................|           65.0
 Texas ...............................|           57.9
 Utah ................................|           64.8
 Vermont .............................|           60.1
 Virginia ............................|           60.6
 Washington ..........................|           58.8
 West Virginia .......................|           50.3
 Wisconsin ...........................|           61.7
 Wyoming .............................|           61.5
 ----------------------------------------------------------------



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Last Modified Date: March 03, 2021