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22 states had unemployment rate decreases from September 2016 to September 2017

October 25, 2017

Twenty-two states had statistically significant unemployment rate decreases from September 2016 to September 2017. The largest decreases occurred in Alabama and Tennessee (−2.2 percentage points and −1.9 points, respectively). Florida, Rhode Island, and Wyoming were the only other states that had unemployment rate decreases of more than 1.0 percentage point over the past 12 months.

Over-the-year change in state unemployment rates, seasonally adjusted, September 2016 to September 2017
State      Statistical significance      Change from
September 2016
to
September 2017
(in percentage points) (p)
  Rank   Unemployment
rate,
September 2016
Unemployment
rate,
September 2017 (p)

Alabama

Statistically significant decrease -2.2 1st 6.0% 3.8%

Tennessee

Statistically significant decrease -1.9 2nd 4.9 3.0

Florida

Statistically significant decrease -1.1 3rd 4.9 3.8

Rhode Island

Statistically significant decrease -1.1 4th 5.3 4.2

Wyoming

Statistically significant decrease -1.1 5th 5.1 4.0

Idaho

Statistically significant decrease -1.0 6th 3.8 2.8

Louisiana

Statistically significant decrease -1.0 6th 6.1 5.1

North Carolina

Statistically significant decrease -1.0 6th 5.1 4.1

Georgia

Statistically significant decrease -0.9 9th 5.4 4.5

Missouri

Statistically significant decrease -0.9 9th 4.7 3.8

Illinois

Statistically significant decrease -0.8 11th 5.8 5.0

West Virginia

Statistically significant decrease -0.8 11th 5.9 5.1

Colorado

Statistically significant decrease -0.7 13th 3.2 2.5

Michigan

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.7 13th 5.0 4.3

North Dakota

Statistically significant decrease -0.7 13th 3.1 2.4

Oregon

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.7 13th 4.9 4.2

Pennsylvania

Statistically significant decrease -0.7 13th 5.5 4.8

Texas

Statistically significant decrease -0.7 13th 4.7 4.0

Washington

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.7 13th 5.3 4.6

Wisconsin

Statistically significant decrease -0.7 13th 4.2 3.5

New Mexico

Statistically significant decrease -0.6 21st 6.8 6.2

South Carolina

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.6 21st 4.5 3.9

Arkansas

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.5 23rd 4.0 3.5

Hawaii

Statistically significant decrease -0.5 23rd 3.0 2.5

Indiana

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.5 23rd 4.3 3.8

Kansas

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.5 23rd 4.3 3.8

Mississippi

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.5 23rd 5.7 5.2

Nebraska

Statistically significant decrease -0.5 23rd 3.3 2.8

Nevada

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.5 23rd 5.4 4.9

Oklahoma

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.5 23rd 5.0 4.5

Arizona

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.4 31st 5.1 4.7

Iowa

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.4 31st 3.6 3.2

Maryland

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.4 31st 4.2 3.8

Virginia

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.4 31st 4.1 3.7

Maine

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.3 35th 4.0 3.7

Minnesota

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.3 35th 4.0 3.7

Vermont

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.3 35th 3.2 2.9

California

Statistically significant decrease -0.2 38th 5.3 5.1

Connecticut

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.2 38th 4.8 4.6

Montana

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.2 38th 4.1 3.9

New Jersey

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.2 38th 4.9 4.7

New Hampshire

Decrease (not statistically significant) -0.1 42nd 2.8 2.7

New York

No change 0.0 43rd 4.9 4.9

Utah

Increase (not statistically significant) 0.1 44th 3.3 3.4

Kentucky

Increase (not statistically significant) 0.2 45th 5.0 5.2

Ohio

Increase (not statistically significant) 0.3 46th 5.0 5.3

South Dakota

Statistically significant increase 0.5 47th 2.9 3.4

Alaska

Increase (not statistically significant) 0.6 48th 6.6 7.2

Delaware

Increase (not statistically significant) 0.6 48th 4.3 4.9

District of Columbia

Increase (not statistically significant) 0.6 48th 5.9 6.5

Massachusetts

Increase (not statistically significant) 0.6 48th 3.3 3.9
Note:

(p) Data for the most recent month are preliminary.

The only over-the-year rate increase was in South Dakota (+0.5 percentage point).

North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate in September 2017, 2.4 percent, closely followed by Colorado and Hawaii, 2.5 percent each. New Hampshire, Idaho, Nebraska, Vermont, and Tennessee also had unemployment rates of 3.0 percent or lower.

Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 7.2 percent, followed by New Mexico and the District of Columbia.

The rates in Idaho (2.8 percent) and Tennessee (3.0 percent) set new series lows in September. (All state unemployment data series begin in 1976.)

The state unemployment 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 "State Employment and Unemployment — September 2017" (HTML) (PDF). For more charts and tables related to state employment and unemployment, see the State unemployment chart package.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 22 states had unemployment rate decreases from September 2016 to September 2017 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/22-states-had-unemployment-rate-decreases-from-september-2016-to-september-2017.htm (visited November 21, 2019).

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