Unemployment Rates by State - Low and High Unemployment Rate States

The worst is over - getting back to normal

On an on-going basis Janco analyzes the unemployment rates reported by the BLS. This is then included in the firm's analysis of the projected number of jobs that will added or deleted from IT profession. The National unemployment data provides a measure of the health of the over-all labor market. A more granular metric is one that considers local condition - i.e. state and local unemployment. This report is during the COVID-19 shutdown

COVID-19 began its impact on the overall unemployment rate with jump up 0.9% to 4.4% and a loss of over 700,000 jobs at the start of the shutdowns. Then in April the unemployment rate skyrocketed to 14.7% and to drop to 6.7% in November.

Between California and New York alone almost 3 million jobs were lost.

CIO Hiring Trends
Current US unemployment rate. Read on...

High Unemployment States

Highest unemployment states are those that had an overall unemployment rate of 7.0% or higher. In October 2021, New Yourk dropped out of the high unemployment states, leaving 3 states with the highest unemployment rates (7.0% or higher). That is an improvement from August 2021 where 8 states were in that category. The highest unemployment rates in September were California - 7.3%; Nevada - 7.3%; and New Jersey 7.0%. Also, all of these states had lower unemployment rates than in September.

High unemployment states Current Year versus prior year

The impact of Covid shutdowns can be seen in the comparison of the unemployment rates with the same month of the prior year when the shutdowns first occurred.

High unemployment states Current Month vs prior Month

States with the Lowest Unemployment -- Full Employment States

State unemployment rates continue to improve. At the start of the shutdown there were 14 states with unemployment rates less than 3.5%. In October, for the first time since the pandemic, there 14 states with unemployment rates lower than 3.5%.

In September the 11 states at full employment (unemployment rates 3.5% or less) - Minnesota (3.5%); Illinois (3.5%); North Dakota (3.3%); Wisconsin (3.2%); Arkansas (3.1%); Georgia (3.1%); Montana (3.1%); New Hampshire (2.9%); Iowa (2.8%); Alabama (3.1%); South Dakota (2.8%); Virginia (2.8%); Oklahoma (2.7%); Utah (2.2%); and Nebraska (1.9%).

Full employment states
Latest data

All of the states that were at full employment levels before the Covid shutdowns have recovered from the massive erosion of the economy.

Full employment states Current Year versus prior year