What Are the States with the Lowest and Highest Unemployment Rates?

by Alex Garrity on 2013/04/27

Everybody is always talking about how the economy is bouncing back and the growth rates are stabilizing. It all seems too good to be true. I recently read somewhere that all signs are pointing towards economic growth.

However, there is still that problem of high unemployment. Since the year 2009, the unemployment rates have been on a downwards turn, but did you know that these figures show a national average and not the real picture?

In reality, each state has coped with the changes in employment rates differently. This means that though the economy is on the mend, there are states where the unemployment rates are much higher than the national average of 8.5%. There are also those states where the unemployment rates are much lower than the national average.

From whatever little economics I studied in college, I knew that economic recovery occurs in spurts and of course, its benefits are not distributed equally – especially in a country as large and diverse as ours. It is true that most states have seen a steady decline in unemployment rates. However, there are some states where the unemployment rates have fluctuated and no trend has really been established.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in December 2012, 24 states in the US reported unemployment rates significantly lower than the national average of 8.5%. While this is something to cheer about, it also means that in the rest of the states, the unemployment rates are higher than that of the national average. 8 states, as well as the District of Columbia have a significantly higher rate of unemployment than 8.5%

My curiosity was piqued and I wanted to know more. It seems that some states are well on their way towards economic recovery while others are still hitting speed bumps along their way. Here’s what I could find.

North Dakota had a low rate of unemployment to begin with. When the recession was at its peak in the year 2009, North Dakota had an unemployment rate of 4.3%. Today, the unemployment rate has slid a full point to rest at 3.3%, which makes North Dakota the state with the least unemployment in the country.

North Dakota is closely followed by the largely agricultural state of Nebraska, with an unemployment rate of 4.1%. Between the years 2010 to 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the state underwent significant changes in the rate of unemployment, but came out better off at the end of the recession.

Surprisingly, the worst unemployment rates are in the state of Nevada. Known to be the gambling capital of the country, Nevada also the topped the list of states with the most foreclosures in the year 2010. It is perhaps due to the foreclosures that there was a heavy employment loss in the state.

With 12.6%, the state of Nevada has the highest unemployment rate and it is closely followed by California with an unemployment rate of 11.1%. California too experienced one of the highest numbers of foreclosures in the country.

Do you think these states have better days ahead?

Courtesy of CreditCardShoppe.com

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