21 states set historic lows in unemployment rates since 2010

May 23, 2019

Since 2010, a total of 21 states set historic lows in their unemployment rates. In April 2019, Pennsylvania (3.8 percent), Vermont (2.2 percent), and Wisconsin (2.8 percent) set new series lows. Vermont (2.2 percent) had the lowest unemployment rate in April 2019, while Alaska (6.5 percent) had the highest rate.

 Most recent decades in which state unemployment rates reached historic lows, 1976–2019
State Decade Most recent historic low April 2019(p) Prior year(s) matching low

Alabama

2010-current Mar. 2019: 3.7% 3.8% None

Alaska

2000-09 Jun. 2007: 6.3% 6.5% 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998

Arizona

2000-09 Jul. 2007: 3.6% 4.9% None

Arkansas

2010-current Apr. 2019: 3.6% 3.6% 2018, 2017

California

2010-current Dec. 2018: 4.1% 4.3% None

Colorado

2010-current Jun. 2017: 2.6% 3.4% None

Connecticut

2000-09 Oct. 2000: 2.2% 3.8% None

Delaware

1980-89 Jun. 1988: 3.0% 3.2% 1987

District of Columbia

1980-89 Sept. 1989: 4.8% 5.6% 1988

Florida

2000-09 Mar. 2006: 3.1% 3.4% None

Georgia

2000-09 Dec. 2000: 3.4% 3.8% None

Hawaii

2010-current Nov. 2017: 2.2% 2.8% None

Idaho

2010-current Oct. 2018: 2.7% 2.8% None

Illinois

1990-99 Feb. 1999: 4.1% 4.4% None

Indiana

2000-09 Oct. 2000: 2.9% 3.6% 1999, 1998

Iowa

2010-current Apr. 2019: 2.4% 2.4% 2018, 2000, 1999

Kansas

1976-79 Aug. 1978: 2.9% 3.5% None

Kentucky

2010-current Apr. 2019: 4.0% 4.0% None

Louisiana

2000-09 Oct. 2007: 4.1% 4.5% None

Maine

2010-current Mar. 2018: 3.2% 3.3% 2017, 2000

Maryland

2000-09 Jan. 2008: 3.3% 3.8% 2007, 1999

Massachusetts

2000-09 Oct. 2000: 2.6% 2.9% None

Michigan

2000-09 Mar. 2000: 3.2% 4.1% None

Minnesota

1990-99 Feb. 1999: 2.5% 3.3% None

Mississippi

2010-current Jan. 2019: 4.7% 4.9% 2018

Missouri

2010-current Oct. 2018: 3.0% 3.3% None

Montana

2000-09 Feb. 2007: 2.9% 3.6% None

Nebraska

1990-99 Oct. 1990: 2.3% 2.9% None

Nevada

1990-99 Feb. 1999: 3.8% 4.0% 1998

New Hampshire

1980-89 Mar. 1988: 2.2% 2.4% 1987

New Jersey

2000-09 Jun. 2000: 3.6% 3.9% None

New Mexico

2000-09 Sept. 2007: 3.7% 5.0% None

New York

2010-current Oct. 2018: 3.8% 3.9% None

North Carolina

1990-99 Apr. 1999: 3.0% 4.0% None

North Dakota

2010-current Apr. 2019: 2.3% 2.3% None

Ohio

2000-09 Feb. 2001: 3.7% 4.3% None

Oklahoma

2000-09 Dec. 2000: 2.9% 3.3% None

Oregon

2010-current Jul. 2018: 4.0% 4.3% None

Pennsylvania

2010-current Apr. 2019: 3.8% 3.8% None

Rhode Island

1980-89 Jul. 1988: 3.0% 3.7% None

South Carolina

2010-current Mar. 2019: 3.2% 3.4% 2018

South Dakota

2000-09 Jul. 2000: 2.4% 2.8% None

Tennessee

2010-current Apr. 2019: 3.2% 3.2% None

Texas

2010-current Apr. 2019: 3.7% 3.7% 2018

Utah

2000-09 Apr. 2007: 2.4% 2.9% None

Vermont

2010-current Apr. 2019: 2.2% 2.2% None

Virginia

2000-09 Nov. 2000: 2.1% 2.9% None

Washington

2010-current Oct. 2018: 4.4% 4.7% None

West Virginia

2000-09 Jul. 2008: 4.0% 4.9% None

Wisconsin

2010-current Apr. 2019: 2.8% 2.8% None

Wyoming

1976-79 May 1979: 2.5% 3.6% None
Footnotes:

(p) = preliminary

Kansas and Nebraska are the only states that have maintained historic lows set during the period from 1976 to 1979. Kansas set a low of 2.9 percent in 1978, while Wyoming set its low of 2.5 percent in 1979. All state series begin in 1976.

The states that recorded their most recent unemployment rate lows from 1980 to 1989 all did so in 1988: Delaware at 3.0 percent, New Hampshire at 2.2 percent, and Rhode Island at 3.0 percent. The District of Columbia set its most recent historic unemployment rate low of 4.8 percent in 1989, after setting that same low in 1988.

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 — April 2019." We also have more charts and maps on state employment and unemployment.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 21 states set historic lows in unemployment rates since 2010 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/21-states-set-historic-lows-in-unemployment-rates-since-2010.htm (visited July 24, 2019).

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