BLS: Unemployment Rates Lower in 9 states in May, Four States at New Series Lows

From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary



Unemployment rates were lower in May in 9 states, higher in 3 states, and stable in 38 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Twenty-two states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier and 28 states and the District had little or no change.
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Colorado had the lowest unemployment rate in May, 2.3 percent, followed by North Dakota, 2.5 percent. The rates in Arkansas (3.4 percent), Mississippi (4.9 percent), Oregon (3.6 percent), and Washington (4.5 percent) set new series lows. (All state series begin in 1976.) Alaska and New Mexico had the highest jobless rates, 6.7 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.
emphasis added

State Unemployment Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the current unemployment rate for each state (red), and the max during the recession (blue). All states are well below the maximum unemployment rate for the recession.

The size of the blue bar indicates the amount of improvement.   The yellow squares are the lowest unemployment rate per state since 1976.

Note: The larger yellow markers indicate the states that reached the all time low since the end of the 2007 recession.  These nine states are: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The states are ranked by the highest current unemployment rate. Alaska, at 6.7%, had the highest state unemployment rate.

State UnemploymentThe second graph shows the number of states (and D.C.) with unemployment rates at or above certain levels since January 2006. At the worst of the employment recession, there were 11 states with an unemployment rate at or above 11% (red).

Currently no state has an unemployment rate at or above 7% (light blue); Only two states and D.C. are at or above 6% (dark blue). The states are Alaska (6.7%) and New Mexico (6.6%).  D.C. is at 6.0%. 

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