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Unemployment rates in 15 states were lower than the 3.5-percent U.S. rate in December 2019

January 29, 2020

In December 2019, 15 states had unemployment rates that were significantly lower than the U.S. rate of 3.5 percent, 12 states and the District of Columbia had higher jobless rates, and 23 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

States with unemployment rates significantly different from the U.S. rate, December 2019, seasonally adjusted
State Unemployment rate, December 2019 Statistical significance, compared to U.S. rate

United States

3.5%

South Carolina

2.3 Significantly lower than U.S. rate

Utah

2.3 Significantly lower than U.S. rate

Vermont

2.3 Significantly lower than U.S. rate

North Dakota

2.4 Significantly lower than U.S. rate

Colorado

2.5 Significantly lower than U.S. rate

Hawaii

2.6 Significantly lower than U.S. rate

New Hampshire

2.6 Significantly lower than U.S. rate

Virginia

2.6 Significantly lower than U.S. rate

Alabama

2.7 Significantly lower than U.S. rate

Iowa

2.7 Significantly lower than U.S. rate

Massachusetts

2.8 Significantly lower than U.S. rate

Idaho

2.9 Significantly lower than U.S. rate

Maine

2.9 Significantly lower than U.S. rate

Florida

3.0 Significantly lower than U.S. rate

Nebraska

3.1 Significantly lower than U.S. rate

Georgia

3.2 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

Indiana

3.2 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

Kansas

3.2 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

South Dakota

3.2 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

Minnesota

3.3 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

Missouri

3.3 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

Tennessee

3.3 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

Montana

3.4 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

Oklahoma

3.4 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

Wisconsin

3.4 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

Maryland

3.5 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

New Jersey

3.5 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

Rhode Island

3.5 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

Texas

3.5 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

Arkansas

3.6 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

Connecticut

3.7 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

Illinois

3.7 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

North Carolina

3.7 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

Oregon

3.7 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

Wyoming

3.7 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

Nevada

3.8 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

California

3.9 Significantly higher than U.S. rate

Delaware

3.9 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

Michigan

3.9 Not significantly different than U.S. rate

New York

4.0 Significantly higher than U.S. rate

Ohio

4.2 Significantly higher than U.S. rate

Kentucky

4.3 Significantly higher than U.S. rate

Washington

4.3 Significantly higher than U.S. rate

Pennsylvania

4.5 Significantly higher than U.S. rate

Arizona

4.6 Significantly higher than U.S. rate

New Mexico

4.7 Significantly higher than U.S. rate

Louisiana

4.9 Significantly higher than U.S. rate

West Virginia

5.0 Significantly higher than U.S. rate

District of Columbia

5.3 Significantly higher than U.S. rate

Mississippi

5.7 Significantly higher than U.S. rate

Alaska

6.1 Significantly higher than U.S. rate

Note: Data for December 2019 are preliminary.

South Carolina, Utah, and Vermont had the lowest unemployment rates in December, 2.3 percent each. Unemployment rates in North Dakota, Colorado, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Virginia, Alabama and Iowa were at or below 2.7 percent.

The unemployment rates in Colorado (2.5 percent), Florida (3.0 percent), Georgia (3.2 percent), Illinois (3.7 percent), Oregon (3.7 percent), South Carolina (2.3 percent), Utah (2.3 percent), and Washington (4.3 percent) were all at the lowest levels ever recorded. (All state unemployment data begin in 1976.)

Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 6.1 percent. West Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Mississippi each had unemployment rates of 5.0 percent or higher in December 2019.

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 — December 2019." 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, Unemployment rates in 15 states were lower than the 3.5-percent U.S. rate in December 2019 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2020/unemployment-rates-in-15-states-were-lower-than-the-3-point-5-percent-u-s-rate-in-december-2019.htm (visited October 31, 2020).

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