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Minnesota, North Dakota, and Nebraska had the highest employment–population ratios in 2018

March 06, 2019

Among the states, Minnesota had the highest employment–population ratio in 2018 (67.8 percent), followed by North Dakota (67.7 percent) and Nebraska (67.3 percent). West Virginia had the lowest employment–population ratio among the states in 2018 (51.0 percent), as it has since the data series began in 1976. Overall, 22 states and the District of Columbia had employment–population ratios significantly higher than the U.S. ratio of 60.4 percent and 17 states had ratios that were appreciably below it.

Employment–population ratios of people 16 years and over by state, 2017–18
State 2018 2017 Over-the-year change

United States

60.4% 60.1% 0.3 percentage point(s)

Minnesota

67.8 67.8 0.0

North Dakota

67.7 68.9 -1.2

Nebraska

67.3 67.1 0.2

Colorado

66.9 66.2 0.7

Iowa

66.7 66.3 0.4

New Hampshire

66.6 66.4 0.2

South Dakota

66.6 66.7 -0.1

District of Columbia

66.5 66.2 0.3

Utah

66.1 66.6 -0.5

Wisconsin

65.9 66.2 -0.3

Massachusetts

65.3 63.7 1.6

Vermont

64.9 65.0 -0.1

Maryland

64.6 64.6 0.0

Kansas

64.5 64.3 0.2

Connecticut

63.4 62.8 0.6

Virginia

63.2 62.9 0.3

Indiana

62.7 62.2 0.5

Idaho

62.3 61.9 0.4

Wyoming

62.1 62.6 -0.5

Rhode Island

61.9 61.6 0.3

Illinois

61.7 61.4 0.3

Missouri

61.6 61.7 -0.1

Texas

61.5 61.1 0.4

Maine

61.2 61.4 -0.2

Washington

61.0 60.7 0.3

Alaska

60.9 61.4 -0.5

Georgia

60.6 60.3 0.3

Hawaii

60.6 61.0 -0.4

Montana

60.3 60.5 -0.2

Delaware

60.2 59.8 0.4

Nevada

60.1 59.5 0.6

New Jersey

59.9 60.2 -0.3

Pennsylvania

59.9 59.6 0.3

California

59.8 59.2 0.6

Oregon

59.8 60.2 -0.4

Ohio

59.5 59.6 -0.1

Oklahoma

59.1 58.6 0.5

Michigan

58.8 58.6 0.2

North Carolina

58.8 58.8 0.0

Tennessee

58.8 58.3 0.5

New York

58.5 58.0 0.5

Arizona

58.4 57.6 0.8

Florida

57.3 57.1 0.2

Kentucky

56.5 56.2 0.3

South Carolina

56.0 55.9 0.1

Louisiana

55.9 55.7 0.2

Arkansas

55.7 55.8 -0.1

Alabama

54.9 54.3 0.6

New Mexico

54.7 54.2 0.5

Mississippi

53.0 53.1 -0.1

West Virginia

51.0 50.5 0.5

The largest employment–population ratio increase among the states in 2018 occurred in Massachusetts (+1.6 percentage points). Eight other states also had significant increases in their ratios. North Dakota was the only state with a statistically significant decrease in its employment–population ratio over the year (–1.2 percentage points). The remaining 40 states and the District of Columbia had ratios that were not notably different from those of the previous year, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes.

These data are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program. The employment–population ratio is the proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and over who are employed. To learn more, see “Regional and State Unemployment – 2018 Annual Averages.”

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Nebraska had the highest employment–population ratios in 2018 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/minnesota-north-dakota-and-nebraska-had-the-highest-employment-population-ratios-in-2018.htm (visited September 19, 2020).

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