New Hampshire and South Dakota had lowest jobless rates in September 2016

October 26, 2016

New Hampshire and South Dakota had the lowest jobless rates in September 2016, 2.9 percent each. The unemployment rate for New Hampshire was 0.7 percentage point higher than its historical low set in March 1988 (2.2 percent). The rate for South Dakota was 0.5 percentage point higher than its historical low set in July 2000 (2.4 percent). Alaska had the highest unemployment rate, 6.9 percent. This was 4.3 percentage points lower than its historical high set in August 1986 (11.2 percent) and 0.7 percentage point higher than its historical low set in June 2007 (6.2 percent).

Unemployment rates by state and historical highs and lows, seasonally adjusted, January 1976–September 2016
State September 2016 unemployment rate (p) Historical high Historical low
Date Rate Date Rate

Alabama

5.4% Dec 1982 15.5% Apr 2007 3.8%

Alaska

6.9 Aug 1986 11.2 Jun 2007 6.3

Arizona

5.5 Dec 1982 11.5 Jul 2007 3.7

Arkansas

4.0 Feb 1983 10.3 May 2016 3.8

California

5.5 Oct 2010 12.2 Dec 2000 4.7

Colorado

3.6 Oct 2010 8.9 Dec 2000 2.7

Connecticut

5.4 Jan 1976 10.0 Oct 2000 2.2

Delaware

4.3 Dec 1976 9.8 Jun 1988 3.0

District of Columbia

6.1 Sep 1983 11.3 Sep 1989 4.8

Florida

4.7 Jan 2010 11.2 Apr 2006 3.1

Georgia

5.1 Dec 2010 10.5 Nov 2000 3.4

Hawaii

3.3 Jan 1976 10.4 Dec 2006 2.4

Idaho

3.8 Dec 1982 10.2 Jun 2007 2.9

Illinois

5.5 Feb 1983 13.1 Feb 1999 4.1

Indiana

4.5 Dec 1982 12.6 Oct 2000 2.9

Iowa

4.2 Jan 1983 9.1 Mar 2000 2.4

Kansas

4.4 Sep 2009 7.3 Aug 1978 2.9

Kentucky

5.0 Feb 1983 12.1 May 2000 4.0

Louisiana

6.4 Nov 1986 13.1 Oct 2007 3.9

Maine

4.1 Jan 1977 9.0 Dec 2000 3.2

Maryland

4.2 Mar 1982 8.5 Dec 1999 3.3

Massachusetts

3.6 Jan 1976 10.7 Oct 2000 2.6

Michigan

4.6 Dec 1982 16.5 Mar 2000 3.2

Minnesota

4.0 Jan 1983 8.9 Mar 1999 2.5

Mississippi

6.0 Apr 1983 12.8 Jan 2001 5.0

Missouri

5.2 Apr 1983 10.6 Jan 2000 3.1

Montana

4.3 May 1983 8.8 Feb 2007 2.9

Nebraska

3.2 Feb 1983 6.3 Oct 1990 2.3

Nevada

5.8 Nov 2010 13.7 Jan 1999 3.7

New Hampshire

2.9 Jul 1992 7.4 Mar 1988 2.2

New Jersey

5.3 Jan 1977 10.7 May 2000 3.5

New Mexico

6.7 Mar 1983 10.5 Aug 2007 3.7

New York

5.0 Jan 1976 10.4 May 1988 4.0

North Carolina

4.7 Mar 2010 11.3 Apr 1999 3.0

North Dakota

3.0 Mar 1983 6.2 Jan 1998 2.5

Ohio

4.8 Jan 1983 14.0 Apr 2001 3.8

Oklahoma

5.2 Apr 1983 8.9 Dec 2000 2.9

Oregon

5.5 May 2009 11.9 May 2016 4.5

Pennsylvania

5.7 Feb 1983 12.7 May 2000 4.0

Rhode Island

5.6 Aug 2009 11.3 May 1988 2.9

South Carolina

4.9 Jan 1983 11.8 Apr 1998 3.5

South Dakota

2.9 Jan 1983 5.9 Jul 2000 2.4

Tennessee

4.6 Jan 1983 12.9 Mar 2000 3.7

Texas

4.8 Nov 1986 9.2 Dec 2000 4.0

Utah

3.4 Mar 1983 9.6 Mar 2007 2.3

Vermont

3.3 Feb 1976 8.8 Mar 2000 2.6

Virginia

4.0 Dec 1982 7.9 Nov 2000 2.1

Washington

5.6 Nov 1982 12.2 Jun 2007 4.6

West Virginia

5.8 Feb 1983 18.8 Aug 2008 4.1

Wisconsin

4.1 Jan 1983 11.9 Jul 1999 3.0

Wyoming

5.3 Dec 1986 9.4 May 1979 2.5
Footnotes:

(p)= preliminary. 

Note: Series begin in January 1976. Historical highs and lows show the most recent month that a rate was recorded in the event of multiple occurrences. 

In September 2016, 20 states had unemployment rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 5.0 percent, 9 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 21 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

Seven states had statistically significant unemployment rate decreases from August to September 2016, the largest of which occurred in Nevada (−0.5 percentage point). The only significant rate decrease occurred in New York (0.2 percentage point). The remaining 42 states and the District of Columbia had jobless rates that were not significantly different from those of a month earlier, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes.

Six states had statistically significant unemployment rate decreases from September 2015. The largest decline was in Massachusetts (−1.2 percentage points). Four states had significant over-the-year rate increases, the largest of which were in Oklahoma and Wyoming (1.0 percentage point each).

These data are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program. Data for September 2016 are preliminary and may be revised. The data are seasonally adjusted. Series histories for each state begin in January 1976. For more information, see “Regional and State Employment and Unemployment — September 2016” (HTML) (PDF).   

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, New Hampshire and South Dakota had lowest jobless rates in September 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/new-hampshire-and-south-dakota-had-lowest-jobless-rates-in-september-2016.htm (visited July 23, 2019).

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