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Annual average unemployment rates decreased in 6 states in 2023

March 06, 2024

In 2023, annual average unemployment rates decreased in 6 states, increased in 2 states, and were little changed in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Employment-population ratios increased in 10 states and were little changed in 40 states and the District. The U.S. jobless rate was unchanged over the year at 3.6 percent, while the national employment–population ratio rose by 0.3 percentage point to 60.3 percent.

Unemployment rates by state, 2022–23 annual averages
State Unemployment rate, percent
2022 2023

United States

3.6 3.6
Alabama 2.5 2.5
Alaska 4.2 4.2
Arizona 3.8 3.9
Arkansas 3.2 3.3
California 4.3 4.8
Colorado 3.1 3.2
Connecticut 4.1 3.8
Delaware 4.3 4.0
District of Columbia 4.7 4.9
Florida 3.0 2.9
Georgia 3.1 3.2
Hawaii 3.3 3.0
Idaho 2.8 3.1
Illinois 4.6 4.5
Indiana 3.1 3.3
Iowa 2.8 2.9
Kansas 2.6 2.7
Kentucky 4.0 4.2
Louisiana 3.7 3.7
Maine 2.8 2.9
Maryland 3.0 2.1
Massachusetts 3.7 3.4
Michigan 4.1 3.9
Minnesota 2.6 2.8
Mississippi 3.8 3.2
Missouri 2.6 3.0
Montana 2.7 2.9
Nebraska 2.2 2.3
Nevada 5.2 5.1
New Hampshire 2.3 2.2
New Jersey 3.9 4.4
New Mexico 4.1 3.8
New York 4.3 4.2
North Carolina 3.7 3.5
North Dakota 2.0 1.9
Ohio 4.0 3.5
Oklahoma 3.1 3.2
Oregon 3.9 3.7
Pennsylvania 4.1 3.4
Rhode Island 3.2 3.0
South Carolina 3.2 3.0
South Dakota 2.0 2.0
Tennessee 3.4 3.3
Texas 3.9 3.9
Utah 2.4 2.6
Vermont 2.3 2.0
Virginia 2.8 2.9
Washington 4.1 4.1
West Virginia 3.9 3.9
Wisconsin 2.9 3.0
Wyoming 3.4 2.9

North Dakota had the lowest jobless rate among the states in 2023, 1.9 percent. Nevada had the highest unemployment rate, 5.1 percent. Overall, 23 states had unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 3.6 percent, 6 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 21 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

Six states had unemployment rate decreases in 2023, the largest of which were in Maryland (−0.9 percentage point) and Pennsylvania (−0.7 point). The only two states with over-the-year rate increases were California and New Jersey (+0.5 percentage point each). The remaining 42 states and the District of Columbia had annual average jobless rates in 2023 that were not appreciably different from those of the previous year.

Employmentpopulation ratios by state, 202223 annual averages
State 2022 2023 Over-the-year change, percentage point(s)

United States

60.0 60.3 0.3
Alabama 55.5 55.8 0.3
Alaska 62.0 62.4 0.4
Arizona 59.1 59.7 0.6
Arkansas 55.5 55.6 0.1
California 59.1 59.1 0.0
Colorado 66.1 66.2 0.1
Connecticut 62.5 61.8 -0.7
Delaware 58.1 58.5 0.4
District of Columbia 67.5 68.2 0.7
Florida 57.3 57.9 0.6
Georgia 59.6 59.6 0.0
Hawaii 57.9 58.4 0.5
Idaho 61.2 60.9 -0.3
Illinois 61.2 61.4 0.2
Indiana 61.3 61.2 -0.1
Iowa 66.1 65.8 -0.3
Kansas 64.7 64.8 0.1
Kentucky 55.2 54.8 -0.4
Louisiana 56.2 56.5 0.3
Maine 57.4 57.5 0.1
Maryland 62.8 63.7 0.9
Massachusetts 62.8 62.9 0.1
Michigan 57.9 59.5 1.6
Minnesota 66.4 66.4 0.0
Mississippi 52.8 52.3 -0.5
Missouri 60.8 61.2 0.4
Montana 61.2 61.3 0.1
Nebraska 67.9 67.5 -0.4
Nevada 58.4 59.5 1.1
New Hampshire 64.1 63.6 -0.5
New Jersey 61.5 62.0 0.5
New Mexico 54.2 55.1 0.9
New York 57.6 58.6 1.0
North Carolina 58.9 58.9 0.0
North Dakota 67.6 67.9 0.3
Ohio 59.1 59.7 0.6
Oklahoma 59.9 60.9 1.0
Oregon 60.0 60.0 0.0
Pennsylvania 59.3 60.1 0.8
Rhode Island 61.6 61.7 0.1
South Carolina 55.3 55.7 0.4
South Dakota 67.0 66.8 -0.2
Tennessee 58.3 57.9 -0.4
Texas 61.5 61.9 0.4
Utah 67.1 67.7 0.6
Vermont 62.1 63.4 1.3
Virginia 63.2 64.5 1.3
Washington 61.4 61.7 0.3
West Virginia 52.3 52.8 0.5
Wisconsin 63.6 63.8 0.2
Wyoming 61.8 62.1 0.3

The District of Columbia had the highest proportion of employed people in 2023, 68.2 percent, which also set a new high in its annual average series. The next highest ratios were in North Dakota, 67.9 percent, and Utah, 67.7 percent. Mississippi and West Virginia had the lowest employment–population ratios among the states, 52.3 percent and 52.8 percent, respectively. Overall, 21 states and the District had employment-population ratios higher than the U.S. ratio of 60.3 percent, 16 states had lower ratios, and 13 states had ratios that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

Employment–population ratios increased in 10 states and were little changed in 40 states and the District in 2023. The largest increases among the states occurred in Michigan (+1.6 percentage points), followed by Vermont and Virginia (+1.3 points each).

These data are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program. To learn more, see “Regional and State Unemployment – 2023 Annual Averages.” The employment–population ratio is the proportion of the civilian population age 16 years and older who are employed.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Annual average unemployment rates decreased in 6 states in 2023 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2024/annual-average-unemployment-rates-decreased-in-6-states-in-2023.htm (visited April 13, 2024).

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