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In 2014, annual average employment–population ratios increased in 35 states and the District of Columbia, decreased in 12 states, and did not change in 3 states. Hawaii and Indiana had the largest over-the-year increases in their employment–population ratios (+1.4 percentage points each), followed by Louisiana (+1.2 points) and Connecticut (+1.1 points). Sixteen other states had increases of at least 0.5 percentage point. Mississippi and Tennessee had the largest decreases in their employment–population ratios (-1.2 percentage points each). Four other states had declines of at least 0.5 percentage point.
North Dakota had the highest proportion of people employed, 70.8 percent in 2014. Other states with high ratios were Nebraska, 68.9 percent; Iowa, 67.3 percent; Minnesota, 67.0 percent; and South Dakota, 66.9 percent.
West Virginia had the lowest employment–population ratio among the states, 49.7 percent. West Virginia has had the lowest employment–population ratio each year since the series began in 1976. Three states had the lowest employment–population ratios in their history in 2014: Kentucky, 54.8 percent; Mississippi, 50.1 percent; and New Mexico, 53.6 percent.
These data are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program. To learn more, see "Regional and State Unemployment — 2014 Annual Averages" (HTML) (PDF).
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, State employment–population ratios in 2014 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/state-employment-population-ratios-in-2014.htm (visited March 28, 2023).