January 26, 1999
Eighteen States had unemployment rates above the seasonally-adjusted national rate of 4.3 percent in December 1998; three had rates at or above 6.0 percent. The highest unemployment rate—6.4 percent—was reported in New Mexico, followed by Hawaii (6.1 percent), West Virginia (6.0 percent), and California (5.9 percent). The District of Columbia's rate was 7.6 percent in December 1998.
While the national unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points from December 1997 to December 1998, thirteen States experienced increases in their unemployment rates over the past year.
Arkansas and North Dakota reported the largest increase in their unemployment rates at 0.8 percentage points each. Oklahoma’s unemployment rate rose 0.7 percentage points, followed by Montana (0.6), Idaho and Washington (each 0.5), and Nebraska (0.4).
These data are a product of the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program. More information can be found in news release USDL 99-19, "Regional and State Employment and Unemployment: December 1998." Comparisons of end-of-the-year national and State unemployment rates are based on seasonally adjusted December 1998 data. Year-to-year comparisons are based on changes in not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for December 1997 and December 1998.