January 25, 2012
Nevada continued to record the highest unemployment rate among the states in December, 12.6 percent. California posted the next highest rate, 11.1 percent. North Dakota again registered the lowest jobless rate, 3.3 percent, followed by Nebraska and South Dakota, 4.1 and 4.2 percent, respectively.
In December, 24 states reported jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 8.5 percent, 8 states and the District of Columbia had measurably higher rates, and 18 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.
Over the year—from December 2010 to December 2011—28 states experienced statistically significant changes in employment, all of which were increases. The largest increase occurred in California (+263,200), followed by Texas (+204,500) and Florida (+113,900).
The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in North Dakota (+5.7 percent), followed by Utah (+3.0 percent) and Oklahoma (+2.7 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment occurred in Delaware (−0.7 percent), followed by Alaska (−0.5 percent) and Georgia (−0.4 percent).
These data are from the Current Employment Statistics (State and Metro Area) and Local Area Unemployment Statistics programs. Data for the most recent month are preliminary and subject to revision. To learn more, see "Regional and State Employment and Unemployment — December 2011" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-12-0091.