Unemployment Rate by State

State-by-state differences can be substantial. Where's best and worst?

When it comes to unemployment, different parts of the United States are affected in distinct ways by the current economic circumstances. While the national unemployment rate provides a good indicator of how the country is doing as a whole, it can diverge considerably from what you might be facing in your home state. That's where the state unemployment rate comes in.

Key Takeaways

  • A state's individual unemployment rate makes it easier to determine how different parts of the U.S. are affected by the current economic circumstances.
  • A state's unemployment rate is measured as part of the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program, run by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • The unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed individuals in a state by its total labor force.

How Are State Unemployment Rates Determined?

Each state's unemployment rate is measured as part of the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program, run by the BLS. These figures are updated monthly and are freely available on the BLS's website. LAUS also provides employment data for locations in the U.S. other than the 50 states, such as counties, metropolitan areas, and even several cities.

A state's unemployment rate is a good indicator of its economic strength. However, it's important to keep in mind how the rate is determined, so as not to make an incorrect assumption. The simplest way to calculate the unemployment rate is to divide the number of unemployed individuals in a state by its total labor force.

For example, say State A has a population of 600,000 residents and an unemployment rate of 5%, while State B has a population of 1,200,000 and an unemployment rate of 2.5%. Although State A has a higher unemployment rate, they each have the same number of unemployed workers (i.e, 300,000). So, while it would be correct to say that State A has been hit harder by unemployment, it would be wrong to assume State A has more jobless persons based solely on the rate.

Unemployment in Each State

The current unemployment figures listed below are for November 2022.

Alabama Unemployment Rate

Alabama's economy features a wide variety of industries, with one of its most prominent being wood pulp production. However, it's the growing hospitality, food service, and tourism sector that is the second largest-employer of the state's non-agricultural workforcee. With its median family income falling short of the national average, Alabama is the seventh poorest state in the country.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 14.9 (January 1983)
  • Historic Low: 2.6 (August 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 2.7

Alaska Unemployment Rate

One of the last states to join the union, Alaska's abundant natural resources and beautiful geography combine for an economy primarily driven by fishing, tourism, and oil. The latter is especially important for the 49th state, with oil revenues providing almost 85% of its budget. Despite its size, Alaska has the lowest population density of any state in the country.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 11.9 (May 2020)
  • Historic Low: 4.4 (September 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 4.5

Arizona Unemployment Rate

Home to the fifth most populous city in the nation, Arizona was once known best for its agricultural production and mining. These days, the Copper State's real estate/rental, manufacturing, and healthcare industries represent its biggest economic sectors. That being said, Arizona's copper mines are still responsible for 65% of all U.S. copper, making it the sixth-largest copper producer globally.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 13.9 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 3.2 (May 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 4.1

Arkansas Unemployment Rate

Arkansas is home to the headquarters of several major companies, including Walmart and Tyson Foods. Aerospace and defense, however, make up the Natural State's biggest export. Other prominent sectors include lumber, technology, and distribution and logistics.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 10.1 (March 1983)
  • Historic Low: 3.1 (March 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 3.7

California Unemployment Rate

Home to Hollywood and Silicon Valley, it may be surprising to learn that California's biggest leading industry is information, followed by manufacturing and real estate. It also includes the largest agricultural sector in the U.S. The Golden State has the highest population of any state in the country, originally resulting from a population boom caused by the Gold Rush.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 16.1 (May 2020)
  • Historic Low: 3.8 (September 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 4.1

Colorado Unemployment Rate

With its diverse landscape, ranging from massive mountains to breathtaking canyons, it's no surprise that tourism is one of Colorado's biggest industries. However, financial services in the Centennial State has a higher employment rate than the national average, 6.4% compared the national average 4.8%, and Denver ranks in the top ten cities for financial start-ups. This isn't that startling, given that the cost of doing business in Colorado is 2.4% under the national average.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 11.8 (May 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.4 (May 2017)
  • Current unemployment: 3.5

Connecticut Unemployment Rate

Connecticut has a rather inventive history, with everything from submarines to lollipops getting their start in this state. While advanced manufacturing is in the Constitution State's blood, it also earned the "Insurance Capital of the World" title for a reason. As the birthplace of America's first insurance companies, it's unsurprising that financial services make up over one-fifth of its gross state product.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 11.4 (May 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.0 (Aug. 2000)
  • Current unemployment: 4.2

Delaware Unemployment Rate

The first state in the union is host to a wide variety of industries, ranging from agriculture to education. The Diamond State may be best known for its contributions via chemical manufacturing, such as in the pharmaceuticals market. As is a trend in many states, however, Delaware's biggest industry is actually financial services.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 13.3 (May 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.8 (May 1988)
  • Current unemployment: 4.4

District of Columbia Unemployment Rate

Although technically a city, the BLS still records a state unemployment rate for the District of Columbia. While it may come as little surprise that the U.S. capital's workforce is heavily represented in its government sector, the leisure and hospitality industry has actually been the largest and fastest growing sector from 2021 to 2022. It also has the highest population density in the country, when compared to the 50 states.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 11.3 (March 1983)
  • Historic Low: 4.6 (November 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 4.6

Florida Unemployment Rate

The third most populous state in the country, Florida's tourism industry resulted in 122 million visitors in 2021; however, while the Sunshine State's beaches may be a beloved destination for vacationing families and students on spring break, Florida's economy features several other sectors. The growing manufacturing industry alone added 4,500 new jobs in 2022 while the professional, business, and financial services together added over 13,000 new jobs.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 13.9 (May 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.4 (June 2006)
  • Current unemployment: 2.6

Georgia Unemployment Rate

Georgia's economy has a long history when it comes to agriculture. Originally heavily reliant on cotton, the Peach State is best known (despite the name) for its peanut production. One in seven Georgians works in agriculture, while the service sector experienced the most annual workforce growth. Real estate, rentals, and leasing is Georgia's most profitable industry.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 12.3 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.8 (September 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 3.0

Hawaii Unemployment Rate

Hawaii is, to date, the last territory to become a U.S. state. The dominant income generator in the archipelago is the "visitor sector" which is itself comprised of several industries related to tourism. The biggest of these sectors is hospitality, representing a workforce of 108,800.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 22.4 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 1.9 (November 2019)
  • Current unemployment: 3.3

Idaho Unemployment Rate

Although Idaho has long been known as a major agricultural center, its economy is rather diverse. The Gem State became prominent following the California Gold Rush, which led to the development of a robust mining industry. Key sectors in its modern economy range from manufacturing, making up 6% of the state's workforce, to tourism, which employs over 45,800 people.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 11.8 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.5 (June 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 3.0

Illinois Unemployment Rate

With the fifth highest GDP in the U.S., it's no surprise that 34 Fortune 500 companies are based in Illinois. The trade, transportation, and utilities sector employs the most people in the Fortune 500 Prairie State, although manufacturing pulls in the highest profits.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 17.4 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 3.6 (December 2019)
  • Current unemployment: 4.7

Indiana Unemployment Rate

Indiana has the world's second-largest automotive industry, in addition to being home to the "Orthopedics Capital of the World." Not surprisingly, manufacturing is one of the Hoosier State's most profitable and fastest-growing sectors, employing about 116.000 workers. Mining mineral resources is also a major industry in Indiana, most notably the 36 million tons of coal collected annually.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 16.8 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.2 (May 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 3.0

Iowa Unemployment Rate

As the state with the highest concentration of agricultural equipment operator employment, it's easy to think of Iowa as primarily driven by farming. The Hawkeye State is the largest producer of corn, pork, and eggs in the U.S., producing one-fourteenth of the country's food supply; however, Iowa's biggest industries in terms of employment are actually leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation and warehousing; and manufacturing.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 10.5 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.4 (July 2018)
  • Current unemployment: 3.1

Kansas Unemployment Rate

Although trade, transportation, and utilities is actually Kansas' biggest sector in terms of employment, education & health services is right behind it. As the production site of many B-29 and B-52 bombers in the 1940s and 1950s, Kansas remains a powerhouse in the aerospace and defense industries today. Other prominent industries include biosciences, which employs more than 16,000 people, and renewable energy. Kansas is second in the country for wind energy potential.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 12.2 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.3 (May 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 2.8

Kentucky Unemployment Rate

Kentucky is the top producer of cars, light trucks, and SUVs per capita; its automotive sector employs more than 100,000 people. That said, the Bluegrass State is probably best known for its bourbon, given that it provides 95% of the world's bourbon supply. However, the food and beverage industry only employs 52,000 people, compared to the 260,000 working in the overall manufacturing sector.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 16.5 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 3.7 (July 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 4.0

Louisiana Unemployment Rate

Louisiana's biggest industries are well-suited to its location and its abundant natural resources. The Pelican State is ranked second in crude oil, with more than 90% of U.S. oil rigs located off its coast, and third in natural gas production. Most unique, however, is Louisiana's shipbuilding sector, with many of the ships produced being oil and gas rigs.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 13.5 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 3.3 (November 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 3.3

Maine Unemployment Rate

The state of Maine is estimated to be 90% woodland, so it's unsurprising that lumber became a major industry. Although its prominence has diminished somewhat as competition has risen in other parts of the U.S., the forestry still accounts for more than 13,000 jobs, as of 2019. Education and health services makes up the biggest employer in the Pine Tree State, followed closely by trade, transportation, and utilities.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 9.2 (May 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.6 (June 2019)
  • Current unemployment: 3.6

Maryland Unemployment Rate

Maryland has a lot to brag about: The Free State is ranked first in median household income in the U.S. and has the longest-running AAA rating from S&P Global. Perhaps most impressive is that Maryland's government sector has the highest percentage of employed persons per capita of any state. Maryland also features a $55.5 billion military industry, along with $17 billion in federal obligations for research and development.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 9.5 (May 2020)
  • Historic Low: 3.1 (May 2019)
  • Current unemployment: 4.3

Massachusetts Unemployment Rate

Although Massachusetts was once best known for agriculture and maritime trading, its modern economy revolves heavily around the health service industry, in addition to education services. The healthcare and social assistance sector has the highest number of employed persons in the Bay State, at nearly 773,000. The second largest, educational service workers are about 20% lower than that number.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 17.1 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.7 (November 2000)
  • Current unemployment: 3.4

Michigan Unemployment Rate

Michigan, the headquarters for Ford and Chevrolet, was once a major manufacturing state in terms of employment. Detroit was Motown for cars before it became Motown for music. Although nearly 19% of North American autos are still produced in the Great Lake State, a majority of Michigan's workforce is now in the healthcare sector. Despite all this, manufacturing still remains Michigan's most profitable industry.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 22.7 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 3.2 (February 2000)
  • Current unemployment: 4.3

Minnesota Unemployment Rate

The manufacturing sector is responsible for the largest portion of Minnesota's GDP, 14.2% of roughly $346 billion. The North Star State—home base of the world-famous Mayo Clinic—is a leader in the U.S. healthcare industry, and has the 8th highest concentration of health care services jobs in the country.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 10.8 (May 2020)
  • Historic Low: 1.8 (July 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 2.3

Mississippi Unemployment Rate

Mississippi's biggest claim to fame is likely its agricultural industry, which employs 17.4% of its population. That being said, the industries in Mississippi with the most employed persons is actually the federal government and trade, transportation, and utilities, each employing about the same amount of people.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 15.4 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 3.6 (September 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 3.9

Missouri Unemployment Rate

A uniquely diverse economy, the Show-Me State boasts advancements in everything from biosciences to energy solutions to information technology. Manufacturing alone accounts for almost 12% of the state's GDP. Along with the seventh largest highway system, Missouri also has the largest waterway system, providing opportunities for trade and transportation that much of the country can't match. Missouri is also the only state that hosts two federal reserve banks.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 11.2 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.4 (September 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 2.7

Montana Unemployment Rate

Montana's trade, transportation, and utilities sector is its biggest employer, followed relatively closely by the government. Despite representing less than 6% of the Treasure State's workforce, the financial services sector is responsible for the largest share of its GDP.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 12.2 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.3 (April 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 2.9

Nebraska Unemployment Rate

The "breadbasket of the world" is responsible for generating $10.6 billion worth of beef annually—easy to do when your cattle outnumber your citizens by three to one. Nebraska's status as the Cornhusker State is also well-earned; it's the third-largest producer of corn in the U.S. Even so, the health and medical services sector is a leading employer of the state and generates millions to the economy.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 8.2 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 1.9 (June 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 2.5

Nevada Unemployment Rate

Although the Silver State may be better known for Las Vegas's casinos, Nevada originally got its start as a major mining hub. That said, the Entertainment Capital of the World is responsible for employing roughly 94% of the state's workforce, with the largest percentage working in the service sector. The next largest sector—knowledge and technology-based industries—only accounts for 19.3%, compared to 77% for the service sector. Nevada achieved the highest state unemployment rate in the country's history in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 28.5 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 3.7 (August 2019)
  • Current unemployment: 4.9

New Hampshire Unemployment Rate

New Hampshire has a long history as a manufacturing state, specifically with the production of paper and grain. As the use of mills began to decline over the 20th century, the Granite State turned to more traditional manufacturing. Although modern manufacturing has become far more high-tech, it still remains the biggest sector of New Hampshire's economy.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 16.2 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.0 (August 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 2.6

New Jersey Unemployment Rate


New Jersey's biggest industry by employment is leisure, hospitality, and retail, which accounts for roughly 18% of the Garden State's workforce, though a significant portion of retail employees are seasonal or part-time workers. Second is healthcare, which has continued to grow ever since 1990.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 15.8 (May 2020)
  • Historic Low: 3.2 (June 2019)
  • Current unemployment: 3.4

New Mexico Unemployment Rate

Although New Mexico is no longer thought of as a mining state, the oil and gas industry still pulled in 5.3 billion in fiscal year 2021. However, mining only represents a small portion of the workforce, with the government sector actually employing more than the private sector. The federal government has a number of installations in the Land of Enchantment, including the Los Alamos National Laboratory and three Air Force bases.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 10.5 (March 1983)
  • Historic Low: 3.5 (September. 2007)
  • Current unemployment: 4.1

New York Unemployment Rate

If you've either visited the Big Apple or called it home, it's easy to think everyone in the U.S. lives there. However, although NYC does have the largest population of any U.S. city, New York itself is only the fourth most populous state. Even so, many significant industries in N.Y.—such as financial services—are based primarily in the Big Apple. Regarding the latter, NYC is the home of Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange, currently the world's largest stock market.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 16.5 (May 2020)
  • Historic Low: 3.7 (June 2019)
  • Current unemployment: 4.3

North Carolina Unemployment Rate

Formerly an agricultural state, North Carolina's economy was heavily industrialized after the Civil War. Much of this remains the case today. N.C.'s famous furniture manufacturers and High Point Market trade show make it still the "Furniture Capital of the World," and its aerospace industry is built upon the legacy of the Wright brothers. N.C. also features the third-largest financial center in the U.S. and the second-fastest growing IT sector in the country.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 14.2 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 3.1 (March 1999)
  • Current unemployment: 3.9

North Dakota Unemployment Rate

Approximately 90% of North Dakota is made up of farms and ranches, a factor that allows agriculture to be the state's biggest economic contributor and responsible for one-fourth of its workforce. The Roughrider State is one of the few states where the advanced manufacturing sector has grown; most have seen their industry shrink over time.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 8.3 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.0 (December 2019)
  • Current unemployment: 2.3

Ohio Unemployment Rate

Ohio was once the second-largest producer of steel in the U.S. While manufacturing is still a significant employer in the Buckeye State's modern economy, trade, transportation, and utilities currently holds the biggest share of the workforce. Ohio is also fourth among the ranks of states that receive the largest individual share of GDP from the manufacturing sector.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 16.4 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 3.8 (March 2001)
  • Current unemployment: 4.2

Oklahoma Unemployment Rate

Trade, transportation, and utilities makes up the largest share of Oklahoma's GDP, followed closely by mining, and then the government, finance, and manufacturing. Harvested oil and gas contribute to the Sooner State's energy sector; Oklahoma is the third biggest producer of natural gas in the country. Outside of traditional energy, 40% of Oklahoma's electricity is now generated from renewable sources, such as wind and solar.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 12.6 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.6 (February 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 3.4

Oregon Unemployment Rate

Oregon is far more dependent on trade than other parts of the U.S., with most of its exports going to other states rather than foreign countries. Outside of trade, healthcare and education represents the biggest employment sector in the Beaver State. Additionally, Oregon has a larger percentage of its workforce employed in the clean energy sector than any other state.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 13.3 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 3.4 (February 2020)
  • Current unemployment: 4.4

Pennsylvania Unemployment Rate

Over a fifth of Pennsylvania's population works in healthcare, which makes it the largest employer in the state. The Keystone State's history in the healthcare industry began with the founding of the first hospital in the U.S. Pennsylvania can also be counted among the ranks of states where the manufacturing sector is the most profitable.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 16.5 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 4.0 (November 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 4.0

Rhode Island Unemployment Rate

Following the American Revolution, Rhode Island had a prominent manufacturing sector. Deindustrialization eventually led to the decline of manufacturing, which was slowly replaced with a more service-based economy. Healthcare and education is the dominant employer in Rhode Island.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 18.4 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.7 (July 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 3.6

South Carolina Unemployment Rate

Trade, transportation, and utilities make up the largest sector in South Carolina by employment, comprised of more than 430,000 jobs. Despite this, finance, insurance & real estate is the most profitable industry in the Palmetto State, in terms of GDP. While not the largest workforce, manufacturing in South Carolina still accounts for approximately 259,000 employees.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 12.1 (December 2009)
  • Historic Low: 2.4 (September 2019)
  • Current unemployment: 3.3

South Dakota Unemployment Rate

Finance, insurance and real estate is the most prominent sector in the South Dakota economy, though most of the state's workforce is actually employed in the government and health and education services sectors. At times the tourism industry in the Mount Rushmore State has been nearly equal to the agriculture sector due to its many notable attractions, including that iconic carved mountain.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 8.8 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.3 (September 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 2.4

Tennessee Unemployment Rate

As is the case in a couple of other states, Tennessee's biggest employer is the trade, transportation, and utilities sector. The sector has also seen the most job growth in the last few years, followed by mining, logging, and construction; financial activities; and professional and business services. Combined together, manufacturing, real estate and healthcare services sectors account for almost 40% of GDP in the Volunteer State.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 15.9 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 3.2 (April 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 3.5

Texas Unemployment Rate

As is probably no surprise, the energy sector is responsible for an estimated nine percent of the GDP in Texas, generating $172 billion in 2021. The Lone Star State is actually the biggest energy producer in the country, and it even has its own power grid. All the same, manufacturing employs far more people than the traditional energy industry, at approximately 906,600.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 12.6 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 3.4 (January 2020)
  • Current unemployment: 4.0

Utah Unemployment Rate

The trade, transportation, and utilities industry make up the largest share of the workforce, though the government sector is close behind. The Beehive State has a rather diverse economy; it was formerly driven by agriculture, but this began to shrink during the 20th century. Meanwhile, aerospace and manufacturing have grown into rising industries in Utah's economy.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 10.0 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 1.9 (April 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 2.2

Vermont Unemployment Rate

Vermont's major employer is the agricultural sector. Over $1 billion of the Green Mountain State's farm income is derived from dairy products, and 80% of its agricultural sector is actually comprised of dairy farms and production. As is often the case, the financial services sector is responsible for a substantial share of Vermont's economy.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 14.3 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.1 (September 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 2.5

Virginia Unemployment Rate

Virginia's diverse geography has allowed a wide variety of key industries to crop up. The Mother of States features the largest data center market in the U.S., the third-largest port on the East Coast, and the highest concentration of tech workers in the country.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 11.6 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.1 (November 2000)
  • Current unemployment: 2.8

Washington Unemployment Rate

The birthplace of Amazon and Microsoft has the highest share of its workforce in the information and communication technology sector. The Evergreen State's second largest employer is the government, particualrly in military and defense, and it has the sixth largest number of active duty personnel. Even so, the information sector still makes up the biggest share of Washington's GDP.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 16.8 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 3.7 (September 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 4.0

West Virginia Unemployment Rate

Following the Reconstruction Era, West Virginia's economy revolved heavily around its abundant natural resources and growing extraction industry. Coal had a particularly prominent place in the early West Virginian economy, and the state remains the second-largest coal producer in the U.S. In 1983, West Virginia reached the highest state unemployment rate in the country's history, prior to the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 18.4 (March 1983)
  • Historic Low: 3.5 (May 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 4.1

Wisconsin Unemployment Rate

Trade, transportation, and utilities is the biggest employer in Wisconsin, with manufacturing fairly close behind it. Eighty-six percent of the Badger State's exports are manufactured goods, supporting 95,000 jobs, according to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Although manufacturing is also responsible for the largest percentage of the state's GDP, real estate is close behind.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 14.1 (April 2020)
  • Historic Low: 2.8 (April 2022)
  • Current unemployment: 3.3

Wyoming Unemployment Rate

Wyoming is another state where natural resources play a critical role, making mining one of its key industries. The Equality State also pulls in a noteworthy amount of revenue from tourism, thanks to its many national parks. Wyoming is currently the least populous state in the country.

  • Unemployment Historic High/Low:
  • Historic High: 9.1 (Jan. 1987)
  • Historic Low: 2.3 (May 1979)
  • Current unemployment: 3.6

What Do Unemployment Rates Tell Us?

The unemployment rate measures what percent of the labor force is out of work. However, it is a lagging indicator. It rises or falls based on changing economic conditions and is not a forward-looking indicator.

What Happens if the Unemployment Rate Is High?

High unemployment rates suggest the economy is not creating or supporting enough jobs for people willing to work.

How Does Unemployment Rate Affect Everyone?

The unemployment rate, if high, suggests individuals are having a difficult time finding jobs. Unemployment can negatively affect the economy and households; particularly, purchasing power and disposable income will decline. This can put negative pressure on the economy and lead to consumer spending reductions and decreased output by companies.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Local Area Unemployment Statistics Map."

  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Local Area Unemployment Statics."

  3. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey: Concepts and Definitions," Select "Unemployment Rate."

  4. Alabama Department Of Commerce. "Industries."

  5. Alabama Department Of Commerce. "Forestry Products."

  6. Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association. "About."

  7. U.S. Census Bureau. "QuickFacts, United States: Median Household Income (in 2021 dollars), 2017-2021."

  8. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Current Unemployment Rates for States and Historical Highs/Lows, Seasonally Adjusted."

  9. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home. "Alaska Statehood," Download "Press release with remarks of the President on signing the proclamation admitting Alaska into the state of the union, and the executive order designating the new design for the U.S. flag, January 3, 1959 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 630, OF-147-D Alaska (5); NAID #12012424]."

  10. State of Alaska. "Economy."

  11. U.S. Census Bureau. "QuickFacts, United States: Land Area in Square Miles, 2020."

  12. U.S. Census Bureau. "QuickFacts, United States: Population per Square Mile, 2020."

  13. IBISWorld. "Arizona - State Economic Profile," Select "Sector Statistics."

  14. Arizona Commerce Authority. "Industries."

  15. Tyson. "About Us."

  16. Walmart. "Our New Home in Bentonville, Arkansas."

  17. Arkansas Economic Development Commission. "Aerospace & Defense."

  18. Arkansas Economic Development Commission. "Key Industries."

  19. IBISWorld. "California - State Economic Profile," Select "Sector Statistics."

  20. California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. "Agriculture & Ag Tech."

  21. U.S. Census Bureau. "QuickFacts, United States: Population Estimates, July 1 2021, (V2021)."

  22. Library of Congress. "From Gold Rush to Golden State."

  23. Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade. "Tourism."

  24. Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. "Financial Services Industry Factsheet."

  25. Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade. "Financial Services."

  26. Connecticut Official State. "Economy."

  27. Connecticut Insurance + Financial Services. "Leading the Nation, Insuring the World."

  28. AdvanceCT. "Insurance."

  29. Delaware Prosperity Partnership. "Delaware Biotech Companies."

  30. State of Delaware. "Facts & Symbols."

  31. Delaware Prosperity Partnership. "Delaware Fintech, Business & Financial Services."

  32. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Washington, DC Area Economic Summary," Page 1.

  33. Visit Florida. "About Us."

  34. Office of the Governor of Florida. "Florida’s Economy Continues to Thrive."

  35. Georgia Farm Bureau. "About Georgia Agriculture."

  36. Georgia Department of Labor, Workforce Statistics Division. "Georgia Nonfarm Employment (Seasonally Adjusted)," Page 1.

  37. IBISWorld. "Georgia - State Economic Profile," Select "Sector Statistics."

  38. National Archives, The Center for Legislative Archives. "Hawaii Statehood, August 21, 1959."

  39. State of Hawaii, Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism: Research & Economic Analysis. "What Are the Major Industries in the State of Hawaii?"

  40. State of Hawaii, Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism: Research & Economic Analysis. "Employment," Download Excel "Job Count by Industry."

  41. Idaho Department of Commerce. "Food Production."

  42. Gold Prospectors Association of America. "Gold Mining in Idaho: Then & Now."

  43. Idaho Department of Commerce. "Advanced Manufacturing."

  44. Idaho Department of Commerce. "Tourism Resources."

  45. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. "Key Industries."

  46. IBISWorld. "Illinois - State Economic Profile," Select "Sector Statistics."

  47. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Economy at a Glance: Illinois."

  48. Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. "Target Industries."

  49. IBISWorld. "Indiana - State Economic Profile," Select "Sector Statistics."

  50. Indiana Economic Development Corporation. "Advanced Manufacturing."

  51. Indiana Geological & Water Survey. "Mineral Resources."

  52. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021: 45-2091 Agricultural Equipment Operators."

  53. Iowa Area Development Group. "Target Industries."

  54. Iowa Workforce Development. "Iowa's Workforce and the Economy 2022," Page 15.

  55. Kansas Department of Labor. "Current Employment Statistics (CES)."

  56. Kansas Department of Commerce. "Aerospace and Defense in Kansas."

  57. Kansas Department of Commerce. "Bioscience."

  58. Kansas Department of Commerce. "Renewable Energy."

  59. Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. "Existing Industries: Automotive."

  60. Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. "Existing Industries: Food & Beverage."

  61. Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. "Existing Industries: Manufacturing."

  62. Louisiana Economic Development. "Energy."

  63. Office of the Governor of Louisiana. "Gov. Edwards Announces Gulf Island to Expand Shipyard Workforce Near Houma."

  64. FOR/Maine. "What is the Forest Bioeconomy?"

  65. FOR/Maine. "The Forest Opportunity Roadmap for Maine Workforce Development Strategy Prepared for Forest Opportunity Roadmap for Maine (FOR/Maine)," Page 5.

  66. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Economy at a Glance: Maine."

  67. U.S. Office of Personal Management. "Federal Employment Reports: Federal Civilian Employment."

  68. National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. "One-Fourth of Federal Obligations for R&D Are Directed to Two States: California and Maryland."

  69. Maryland Department of Commerce. "Maryland Military & Civilian Compatible Use Project."

  70. Maritime History in Massachusetts. "Maritime Commerce."

  71. IBIS World. "Massachusetts - State Economic Profile," Select "Employment Trends."

  72. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, FRED Economic Data. "All Employees: Manufacturing in Michigan."

  73. IBISWorld. "Massachusetts - State Economic Profile," Select "Employment Trends."

  74. Michigan Economic Development Corporation. "Mobility and Automotive Manufacturing."

  75. IBISWorld. "Massachusetts - State Economic Profile," Select "Sector Statistics."

  76. Minnesota Compass. "Economy," Select "Key Measures: Economic Output," and Dropdown "Share Gross Domestic Product by Industry Sector, Minnesota 2021 Chart."

  77. Mayo Clinic. "Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota."

  78. Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. "Minnesota: 2030 Industry Chapter: Health Care and Medical Innovation in Minnesota’s Economy."

  79. Mississippi Department of Agriculture & Commerce. "Mississippi Agriculture Snapshot."

  80. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Economy at a Glance: Mississippi."

  81. Missouri Economic Research & Information Center. "Industry Research: Target Industry."

  82. Missouri Economic Research & Information Center. "2020 Manufacturing Brief," Page 1.

  83. Missouri Department of Transportation. "Waterways General Information."

  84. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. "Interstate Waters."

  85. Missouri Department of Transportation. "Fast Facts."

  86. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. "Federal Reserve Banks: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis."

  87. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. "Federal Reserve Banks: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City."

  88. State of Montana Newsroom. "Montana’s Economy 7th Strongest in Nation With Robust Growth in 2021."

  89. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Economy at a Glance: Montana."

  90. Nebraska Department of Economic Development. "Nebraska Agriculture," Pages 9, 14.

  91. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Economy at a Glance: Nebraska."

  92. Nebraska Hospital Association. "Nebraska Hospitals: 2021 Community Benefits Report," Page 2.

  93. University of Nevada, Reno. "Mining History."

  94. New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs. "NH: Advanced in Manufacturing."

  95. New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources. "New Hampshire History in Brief."

  96. New Jersey Department of Labor. "New Jersey Key Industry Sectors," Page 1.

  97. New Jersey State Data Center. "New Jersey Industry Cluster Characteristics."

  98. Choose: New Jersey. "Healthcare."

  99. New Mexico Oil & Gas Association. "Fueling New Mexico: How New Mexico’s Oil and Natural Gas Industry Benefits All," Page 2.

  100. New Mexico Museum of Art. "History: Mining."

  101. U.S. Bureau Labor of Statistics. "Economy at a Glance: New Mexico."

  102. New Mexico Economic Development Department. "Aerospace."

  103. U.S. Census Bureau. "City and Town Population Totals: 2020-2021," Download Excel "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places of 50,000 or More, Ranked by July 1, 2021 Population: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021 (SUB-IP-EST2021-ANNRNK) [< 1.0 MB] ."

  104. New York State Department of Labor. "2021 Significant Industries: A Report to the Workforce Development System," Pages 1, 3.

  105. The Library of Congress. "Wall Street."

  106. New York Stock Exchange. "The History of the NYSE."

  107. North Carolina Department of Commerce. "Aerospace & Defense."

  108. NCpedia. "Industrialization in North Carolina."

  109. North Carolina Department of Commerce. "Key Industries in North Carolina."

  110. National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. "North Dakota Department of Agriculture."

  111. North Dakota Department of Commerce. "Advanced Manufacturing."

  112. Ohio History Central. "Steel Mills."

  113. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Economy at a Glance: Ohio."

  114. Ohio Department of Development. "Economic Overview: Ohio."

  115. Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. "2021 Oklahoma Annual Economic Report," Page 11.

  116. Oklahoma Department of Commerce. "Traditional Energy."

  117. Oklahoma Department of Commerce. "Renewable Energy."

  118. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Economy at a Glance: Oregon."

  119. Oregon Business Plan. "About Oregon's Industry Clusters."

  120. The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. "History of Penn Medicine."

  121. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Economy at a Glance: Pennsylvania."

  122. IBISWorld. "Pennsylvania - State Economic Profile," Select "Sector Statistics."

  123. Rhode Island Department of Commerce. "Industries: Food and Beverage Innovation."

  124. Providence College’s Phillips Memorial Library Digital Projects. "Rhode Island and the Industrial Revolution."

  125. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Economy at a Glance: Rhode Island."

  126. South Carolina Department of Employment & Workforce. "2022 Economic Analysis Report," Page 11.

  127. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Economy at a Glance: South Carolina."

  128. South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation. "South Dakota Workforce Report 2021," Pages 5, 23.

  129. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Economy at a Glance: Tennessee."

  130. Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. "Tennessee's Economy," Download "2021," Page 2.

  131. IBISWorld. "Tennessee - State Economic Profile," Select "Sector Statistics."

  132. Texas Economic Development Corporation. "Energy Sector in Texas."

  133. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas. "ERCOT Fact Sheet December 2022," Page 1.

  134. Texas Economic Development Corporation. "Texas’s Energy Sector Goes Beyond Oil and Gas."

  135. Texas Economic Development Corporation. "Texas: Manufacturing Industry," Page 1.

  136. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Economy at a Glance: Utah."

  137. Envision Utah. "Background: Agriculture in Utah."

  138. Utah Governor's Office of Economic Opportunity. "Manufacturing: Utah’s Fifth-Largest Industry, New Study Shows."

  139. Utah Governor's Office of Economic Opportunity. "Apogee Worx: Proudly Serving Utah’s Growing Aerospace Industry."

  140. Vermont Department of Economic Development. "Agriculture."

  141. Vermont Department of Economic Development. "Financial Services."

  142. Virginia Economic Development Partnership. "Virginia’s Key Industries Are Poised for Growth to Ensure Success for Future Generations."

  143. U.S. Bureau. of Labor Statistics. "Economy at a Glance: Washington."

  144. Washington State Department of Commerce. "Mastering the Digital World."

  145. Washington State Department of Commerce. "Protecting Our Freedoms."

  146. West Virginia Development Office. "Energy."

  147. The West Virginia Encyclopedia. "History of West Virginia."

  148. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Economy at a Glance: Wisconsin."

  149. Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. "In Wisconsin, We Build Up."

  150. IBISWorld. "Winsconsin - State Economic Profile," Select "Sector Statistics."

  151. U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. "Wyoming Mining & Minerals."

  152. U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey. "The Mineral Industry of Wyoming."

  153. Wyoming Business Council. "Outdoor Recreation: Industry Profile."

Take the Next Step to Invest
×
The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace.
Service
Name
Description