April 22, 2010
In March, 24 States posted jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 9.7 percent, 11 States and the District of Columbia had measurably higher rates, and 15 States had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.
Michigan again recorded the highest unemployment rate among the States, 14.1 percent in March. The States with the next highest rates were Nevada, 13.4 percent; California and Rhode Island, 12.6 percent each; Florida, 12.3 percent; and South Carolina, 12.2 percent. The rates in California, Florida, and Nevada set new series highs, as did the rate in Georgia (10.6 percent).
In March, North Dakota continued to register the lowest jobless rate (4.0 percent), followed by South Dakota and Nebraska, 4.8 and 5.0 percent, respectively.
Over the month, four States—Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, and Virginia—reported statistically significant unemployment rate increases in March (+0.2 percentage point each). Massachusetts was the only State to record a significant over-the-month jobless rate decrease (‑0.2 percentage point). The District of Columbia also posted an appreciable rate decrease from a month earlier (‑0.3 percentage point). The remaining 45 States registered jobless rates that were not measurably different from those of a month earlier, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes.
From March 2009 to March 2010, Nevada recorded the largest jobless rate increase (+2.8 percentage points), followed by Florida (+2.7 points) and Mississippi and West Virginia (+2.6 points each). Twenty-five additional States and the District of Columbia had smaller, but also statistically significant, increases. Minnesota reported the only significant rate decrease from a year earlier (‑0.7 percentage point). The remaining 20 States registered jobless rates that were not appreciably different from those of a year earlier.
These data are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program and are seasonally adjusted. Data for the most recent month are preliminary. To learn more, see "Regional and State Employment and Unemployment — March 2010" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL 10-0469.