Economy

Here's the Unemployment Rate in Each State

February 22nd 2016

By:
Kyle Jaeger

After taking a hit in the last couple years, it looks like the job market is finally on the upswing. The unemployment rate in the U.S. dropped to the lowest point since February 2008, CNN reported. President Barack Obama touted the economic news in a press conference, emphasizing that the country "has the strongest, most durable economy in the world."

But not all states have experienced the same gains. Some are still struggling to recover from the Great Recession of 2007, the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows. That's important information if you plan to start a new job in today's economy.

Here's a map of the unemployment rates in each state as of December 2015.

map

The takeaway? The unemployment rate dropped in 25 states but increased in 14 others. Unemployment remained unchanged in the remaining 11 states plus the District of Columbia.

If you want to move to a state where you're more likely to find work, you should consider North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. These Midwestern states had the lowest unemployment rates, at 2.7 percent, 2.9 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively. The state for prospective workers to avoid appears to be New Mexico, which had the highest unemployment rate by far: 6.7 percent. Other factors such as cost of living and starting salary can impact job decisions, but it seems that certain states come with more opportunities than others overall.

There is also some difference among industries. As certain sectors grow, more jobs become available.

These Industries Have The Highest Employment Between 1990 and 2013

There are a number of factors that contribute to changes in the unemployment rate in each state, so it is difficult to determine what factors had the greatest impact on state economies. That said, Obama credited Democratic policies for the economic boost nationwide, arguing that "had we adopted some of the policies that were advocated by Republicans over the last four, five, six years, we know that we probably would have done worse."

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