Friday, July 20, 2018

State Unemployment since 1976

by Bill McBride on 7/20/2018 01:29:00 PM

Earlier I posted the BLS release for state unemployment rates in June. I've been posting a graph showing the number of states with unemployment rates above certain levels since 2006.

Since all of the state series began in 1976, below is a graph showing state unemployment rates since 1976.

Only one state has never had an unemployment rate below 6% (Alaska with a minimum is 6.3% in 1999).  So Dark Blue on the graph below never reaches zero.

For interest, note the impact of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when the unemployment rate for Louisiana increased sharply from 5.4% to 11.3% in one month, and the unemployment rate for Mississippi increased from 6.9% to 9.8%.

State UnemploymentClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the number of states (and D.C.) with unemployment rates at or above certain levels since January 1976.

At the worst of the great recession, there were 11 states with an unemployment rate at or above 11% (red).

At the worst of the early '80s recession, there were 18 states with an employment rate at or above 11%.

Currently only one state, Alaska, has an unemployment rate at or above 7% (light blue); And only Alaska is above 6% (dark blue).