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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

State Unemployment Rates: The Decline from Recession Maximum

by Calculated Risk on 1/25/2011 03:55:00 PM

Earlier today I posted the usual graph of the state unemployment rate (with highs and lows since 1976).

Reader picosec suggested comparing the current state unemployment rates against the peak unemployment rates for each state during the recent recession. He writes: "This would indicate the relative rate that each state is recovering and might inspire discussion about why certain states are recovering faster/slower than others."

The following graph shows the current unemployment rate for each state (blue), and the max during the recession (red). If there is no red, the state is currently at the maximum during the recession.

State Unemployment Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

The states are ranked by the largest percentage decline from the peak. New Hampshire's unemployment rate has declined from 7.1% to 5.5% currently (the largest percentage decline). Michigan's rate has declined from 14.5% to 11.7%, the largest percentage point decline, but less as percentage than New Hampshire or Vermont.

The auto states - led by Michigan - tend to be on the left side of the graph with improving employment. The worst housing bubble states - California, Arizona, Florida and Nevada - are mostly on the right side of the graph.

Six states are at the recession maximum (no improvement): Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Texas and West Virginia.