Unemployment Rate by State

The state unemployment rate is a useful indicator of the health of an individual state’s economy. It is determined by dividing the number of unemployed people in a state by its total labor force.

Unemployment is a key economic indicator that measures the percentage of people who are without jobs. A high unemployment rate can lead to many negative effects, including an increased need for public assistance and a drop in consumer spending. This can have a snowball effect, leading to even more job losses and ultimately reducing the economy’s overall output. The state unemployment rate is determined by dividing the number of unemployed people by the total labor force. The labor force includes all people 16 years of age and older who are either working or actively looking for work. The unemployment rate is measured on a monthly basis and is not seasonally adjusted.

Data for states, counties, and cities are produced by BLS through the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program and nonfarm payroll employment data for state and industry supersector levels from the Current Employment Survey (CES). Data for the individual states and metropolitan areas are compiled using model estimates that incorporate information from several sources, including the CPS and other administrative data.

The models used to produce state unemployment rates take into account information from the CPS, which interviews a sample of households on a monthly basis. The model also uses data from other sources, such as business establishment surveys and unemployment insurance claims. The model-based estimates are controlled in real-time to sum to national unemployment rate and labor force estimates from the CPS, so they tend to be highly consistent between states and regions.

BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics
Unemployment Rate by State 1

BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics

StateMay 2023
Rate
Rank
New Hampshire1.71
Maryland1.82
Vermont1.82
South Dakota1.94
Nebraska2.05
North Dakota2.05
Alabama2.17
Maine2.48
Utah2.48
Massachusetts2.510
Montana2.510
Virginia2.510
Arkansas2.613
Wisconsin2.613
Florida2.715
Iowa2.715
Kansas2.715
Missouri2.715
Oklahoma2.715
Hawaii2.820
Idaho2.820
Rhode Island2.820
Colorado2.923
Minnesota3.024
Mississippi3.024
Wyoming3.024
South Carolina3.127
Tennessee3.127
Georgia3.229
Indiana3.330
North Carolina3.330
Ohio3.330
Louisiana3.433
Oregon3.433
West Virginia3.433
Pennsylvania3.536
Arizona3.637
Connecticut3.637
Michigan3.637
New Mexico3.637
Washington3.637
Alaska3.842
Kentucky3.842
New Jersey3.944
New York3.944
Illinois4.046
Delaware4.147
Texas4.147
California4.649
District of Columbia5.050
Nevada5.351

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