Three states at historically low unemployment rates in October 2017

November 29, 2017

Unemployment rates were lower in October in 12 states, higher in 1 state, and stable in 37 states and the District of Columbia in October 2017. Compared with a year earlier, jobless rates decreased in 23 states, increased in 2 states and the District, and had little or no change 25 states. The national unemployment rate edged down to 4.1 percent in October and was 0.7 percentage point lower than a year earlier.

State unemployment rates, October 2017, seasonally adjusted
StateUnemployment rate

Alaska

7.2%

District of Columbia

6.6

New Mexico

6.1

Ohio

5.1

West Virginia

5.1

Kentucky

5.0

Nevada

5.0

California

4.9

Illinois

4.9

Mississippi

4.9

New Jersey

4.9

Delaware

4.8

Louisiana

4.8

New York

4.8

Pennsylvania

4.7

Arizona

4.5

Connecticut

4.5

Michigan

4.5

Washington

4.5

Oklahoma

4.4

Georgia

4.3

Oregon

4.3

Rhode Island

4.2

Wyoming

4.2

North Carolina

4.1

Indiana

3.9

Montana

3.9

South Carolina

3.9

Texas

3.9

Maryland

3.8

Massachusetts

3.7

Alabama

3.6

Arkansas

3.6

Florida

3.6

Kansas

3.6

Virginia

3.6

Maine

3.5

Missouri

3.5

South Dakota

3.5

Wisconsin

3.4

Minnesota

3.3

Utah

3.3

Iowa

3.0

Tennessee

3.0

Idaho

2.9

Vermont

2.9

Colorado

2.7

Nebraska

2.7

New Hampshire

2.7

North Dakota

2.5

Hawaii

2.2

Hawaii had the lowest unemployment rate in October, 2.2 percent, followed by North Dakota, 2.5 percent. The rates in Alabama (3.6 percent), Hawaii (2.2 percent), and Texas (3.9 percent) set new series lows. (All state series begin in 1976.) Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 7.2 percent.

Among the 23 states that had unemployment rate decreases from October 2016, the largest declines occurred in Alabama and Tennessee (− 2.5 percentage points and − 2.0 points, respectively). The only over-the-year rate increases were in the District of Columbia (+0.8 percentage point) and Alaska and South Dakota (+0.6 point each).

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 — October 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, Three states at historically low unemployment rates in October 2017 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/three-states-at-historically-low-unemployment-rates-in-october-2017.htm (visited September 19, 2019).

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