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Friday, September 20, 2019

BLS: August Unemployment rates at New Series Lows in Alabama, Alaska, Illinois, Maine and New Jersey

by Calculated Risk on 9/20/2019 10:12:00 AM

From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary

Unemployment rates were lower in August in 5 states, higher in 3 states, and stable in 42 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Five states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 2 states had increases, and 43 states and the District had little or no change.
Vermont had the lowest unemployment rate in August, 2.1 percent. The rates in Alabama (3.1 percent), Alaska (6.2 percent), Illinois (4.0 percent), Maine (2.9 percent), and New Jersey (3.2 percent) set new series lows. (All state series begin in 1976.) Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 6.2 percent.
emphasis added
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).

Currently only one state, Alaska, has an unemployment rate at or above 6% (dark blue).  Note that Alaska set a new series low (since 1976).  Three states and the D.C. have unemployment rates above 5%; Alaska, Arizona and Mississippi.

A total of eleven states are at a series low: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Vermont.