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North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate in February 2020

April 01, 2020

North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate in February, 2.2 percent, while Alaska had the highest rate, 5.8 percent. The rates in Alaska, Idaho (2.7 percent), Illinois (3.4 percent), New York (3.7 percent), North Dakota (2.2 percent), and Washington (3.8 percent) set new lows. All state data begin in 1976. In total, 14 states had unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 3.5 percent, 10 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 26 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

Unemployment rate by state, February 2020, seasonally adjusted
State Unemployment rate 12-month percentage point change

Alabama

2.7% -0.8 percentage points

Alaska

5.8 -0.3

Arizona

4.5 -0.4

Arkansas

3.5 -0.1

California

3.9 -0.4

Colorado

2.5 -0.6

Connecticut

3.8 0.0

Delaware

3.9 0.4

District of Columbia

5.2 -0.6

Florida

2.8 -0.6

Georgia

3.1 -0.6

Hawaii

2.7 -0.1

Idaho

2.7 -0.2

Illinois

3.4 -0.9

Indiana

3.1 -0.4

Iowa

2.8 0.1

Kansas

3.1 -0.2

Kentucky

4.2 0.0

Louisiana

5.2 0.6

Maine

3.2 0.0

Maryland

3.3 -0.4

Massachusetts

2.8 -0.3

Michigan

3.6 -0.6

Minnesota

3.1 -0.1

Mississippi

5.4 0.2

Missouri

3.5 0.3

Montana

3.5 0.0

Nebraska

2.9 -0.2

Nevada

3.6 -0.5

New Hampshire

2.6 0.1

New Jersey

3.8 0.2

New Mexico

4.8 -0.2

New York

3.7 -0.3

North Carolina

3.6 -0.5

North Dakota

2.2 -0.1

Ohio

4.1 -0.1

Oklahoma

3.2 -0.1

Oregon

3.3 -0.9

Pennsylvania

4.7 0.6

Rhode Island

3.4 -0.3

South Carolina

2.5 -0.9

South Dakota

3.3 0.2

Tennessee

3.4 0.0

Texas

3.5 -0.1

Utah

2.5 -0.3

Vermont

2.4 0.1

Virginia

2.6 -0.4

Washington

3.8 -0.7

West Virginia

4.9 0.1

Wisconsin

3.5 0.3

Wyoming

3.7 0.2

Eleven states had unemployment rate decreases from February 2019, the largest of which were in Illinois, Oregon, and South Carolina (−0.9 percentage point each). The only unemployment rate increase over the year occurred in Pennsylvania (+0.6 percentage point).

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 — February 2020." Also see more charts and maps on state employment and unemployment data.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate in February 2020 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2020/north-dakota-had-the-lowest-unemployment-rate-in-february-2020.htm (visited October 22, 2020).

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