Eight states at historically low unemployment rates in March 2018

April 25, 2018

In March 2018, unemployment rates for California (4.3 percent), Hawaii (2.1 percent), Idaho (2.9 percent), Kentucky (4.0 percent), Maine (2.7 percent), Mississippi (4.5 percent), Oregon (4.1 percent), and Wisconsin (2.9 percent) were at their lowest levels since the state unemployment data series began in January 1976. Among states, Hawaii had the lowest unemployment rate, followed by New Hampshire and North Dakota (2.6 percent each). Alaska had the highest unemployment rate, at 7.3 percent.

State unemployment rates, March 2018, seasonally adjusted
State March 2018 unemployment rate(p) Historical High Historical Low

Alaska

7.3% Aug. 1986, 11.2% Jun. 2007, 6.3%

District of Columbia

5.6 Sept. 1983, 11.3% Sept. 1989, 4.8%

New Mexico

5.6 Mar. 1983, 10.5% Sept. 2007, 3.7%

West Virginia

5.4 Feb. 1983, 18.8% Jul. 2008, 4.0%

Arizona

4.9 Dec. 1982, 11.5% Jul. 2007, 3.6%

Nevada

4.9 Nov. 2010, 13.7% Feb. 1999, 3.8%

Pennsylvania

4.8 Feb. 1983, 12.7% May 2000, 4.0%

Washington

4.8 Nov. 1982, 12.2% Jun. 2007, 4.6%

Michigan

4.7 Dec. 1982, 16.5% Mar. 2000, 3.2%

Illinois

4.6 Feb. 1983, 13.1% Feb. 1999, 4.1%

New Jersey

4.6 Jan. 1977, 10.7% Jun. 2000, 3.6%

New York

4.6 Feb. 1976, 10.3% May 1988, 4.0%

Connecticut

4.5 Mar. 1976, 9.8% Oct. 2000, 2.2%

Mississippi

4.5 Apr. 1983, 12.8% Mar. 2018, 4.5%

North Carolina

4.5 Mar. 2010, 11.4% Apr. 1999, 3.0%

Rhode Island

4.5 Aug. 2010, 11.3% Jul. 1988, 3.0%

Georgia

4.4 Dec. 2010, 10.6% Dec. 2000, 3.4%

Louisiana

4.4 Nov. 1986, 13.1% Oct. 2007, 4.1%

Ohio

4.4 Jan. 1983, 14.0% Feb. 2001, 3.7%

South Carolina

4.4 Jan. 1983, 11.8% Apr. 1998, 3.5%

California

4.3 Nov. 2010, 12.3% Mar. 2018, 4.3%

Delaware

4.3 Dec. 1976, 9.8% Jun. 1988, 3.0%

Maryland

4.3 Mar. 1982, 8.5% Jan. 2008, 3.3%

Montana

4.1 May 1983, 8.8% Feb. 2007, 2.9%

Oregon

4.1 May 2009, 11.9% Mar. 2018, 4.1%

Kentucky

4.0 Mar. 1983, 12.0% Mar. 2018, 4.0%

Oklahoma

4.0 Apr. 1983, 8.9% Dec. 2000, 2.9%

Texas

4.0 Nov. 1986, 9.2% Nov. 2017, 3.9%

Florida

3.9 Jan. 2010, 11.3% Mar. 2006, 3.1%

Wyoming

3.9 Dec. 1986, 9.4% May 1979, 2.5%

Alabama

3.8 Dec. 1982, 15.5% Feb. 2018, 3.7%

Arkansas

3.8 Feb. 1983, 10.3% May 2017, 3.6%

Missouri

3.6 Mar. 1983, 10.6% Jan. 2000, 3.1%

Massachusetts

3.5 Mar. 1976, 10.3% Oct. 2000, 2.6%

Kansas

3.4 Aug. 2009, 7.3% Aug. 1978, 2.9%

South Dakota

3.4 Jan. 1983, 5.9% Jul. 2000, 2.4%

Tennessee

3.4 Jan. 1983, 12.9% Jan. 2018, 3.3%

Virginia

3.4 Dec. 1982, 7.9% Nov. 2000, 2.1%

Indiana

3.2 Dec. 1982, 12.6% Oct. 2000, 2.9%

Minnesota

3.2 Jan. 1983, 8.9% Feb. 1999, 2.5%

Utah

3.1 Mar. 1983, 9.6% Apr. 2007, 2.4%

Colorado

3.0 Dec. 2010, 8.9% May 2017, 2.6%

Idaho

2.9 Dec. 1982, 10.2% Mar. 2018, 2.9%

Wisconsin

2.9 Jan. 1983, 11.9% Mar. 2018, 2.9%

Iowa

2.8 Jan. 1983, 9.1% Mar. 2000, 2.4%

Nebraska

2.8 Feb. 1983, 6.3% Oct. 1990, 2.3%

Vermont

2.8 Apr. 1976, 8.7% Mar. 2000, 2.6%

Maine

2.7 Jan. 1977, 9.0% Mar. 2018, 2.7%

New Hampshire

2.6 Jul. 1992, 7.4% Mar. 1988, 2.2%

North Dakota

2.6 Feb. 1983, 6.2% Jul. 2017, 2.5%

Hawaii

2.1 Mar. 1976, 10.2% Mar. 2018, 2.1%
Footnotes:

(p) = preliminary.

In March 2018, 17 states had unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 4.1 percent, 9 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 24 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

From March 2017 to March 2018, seventeen states had unemployment rate changes, all of which were decreases. The largest declines occurred in Alabama, Kentucky, and Louisiana (−1.2 percentage points 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 "State Employment and Unemployment — March 2018" (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, Eight states at historically low unemployment rates in March 2018 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/eight-states-at-historically-low-unemployment-rates-in-march-2018.htm (visited August 20, 2018).

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