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December 2016 unemployment rates lowest in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, South Dakota

January 27, 2017

New Hampshire had the lowest unemployment rate in December, 2.6 percent, followed by Massachusetts and South Dakota, both 2.8 percent. Hawaii, Colorado, and North Dakota all had unemployment rates of 3.0 percent or lower in December.

Unemployment rate, by state, December 2016 and December 2015, seasonally adjusted
State Unemployment rate (percentage of labor force)
December 2016 December 2015

New Hampshire

2.6 3.1

Massachusetts

2.8 4.9

South Dakota

2.8 2.9

Hawaii

2.9 3.3

Colorado

3.0 3.5

North Dakota

3.0 2.7

Utah

3.1 3.4

Vermont

3.1 3.5

Nebraska

3.4 3.0

Iowa

3.6 3.5

Idaho

3.7 3.9

Maine

3.8 4.0

Arkansas

3.9 4.7

Minnesota

3.9 3.7

Indiana

4.0 4.6

Montana

4.0 4.1

Wisconsin

4.0 4.6

Virginia

4.1 4.2

Kansas

4.2 4.0

Maryland

4.2 5.0

Delaware

4.3 4.9

South Carolina

4.3 5.5

Connecticut

4.4 5.4

Missouri

4.4 4.4

Oregon

4.6 5.5

Texas

4.6 4.6

New Jersey

4.7 4.8

Arizona

4.8 5.9

Kentucky

4.8 5.7

Wyoming

4.8 4.4

Florida

4.9 5.1

New York

4.9 5.0

Ohio

4.9 4.8

Tennessee

4.9 5.6

Michigan

5.0 5.1

Oklahoma

5.0 4.1

Rhode Island

5.0 5.4

Nevada

5.1 6.3

North Carolina

5.1 5.6

California

5.2 5.9

Washington

5.2 5.8

Georgia

5.4 5.5

Mississippi

5.6 6.8

Pennsylvania

5.6 4.7

Illinois

5.7 6.1

District of Columbia

5.8 6.6

West Virginia

5.9 6.2

Louisiana

6.1 5.8

Alabama

6.2 6.3

New Mexico

6.6 6.6

Alaska

6.7 6.6

Note: Data for the most recent month are preliminary.

Alaska and New Mexico had the highest jobless rates, 6.7 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively. Louisiana and Alabama were the only other states with unemployment rates above 6.0 percent. The national unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in December 2016, 0.3 percentage point lower than in December 2015.

Eleven states had statistically significant unemployment rate decreases from December 2015, the largest of which was in Massachusetts (−2.1 percentage points). Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina, Arizona, and Connecticut all had over-the-year decreases of 1.0 to 1.2 percentage points.

The only significant unemployment rate increases over the year occurred in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania (+0.9 percentage point each).

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 — December 2016" (HTML) (PDF).

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, December 2016 unemployment rates lowest in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, South Dakota on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/december-2016-unemployment-rates-lowest-in-new-hampshire-massachusetts-south-dakota.htm (visited November 21, 2019).

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