Unemployment Drops Below 3% in 10 States

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In December, the unemployment rate was 3.9% nationwide, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, in ten states, it was much lower than that, dropping below 3% in each one

BLS researchers reported the trend across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. “Unemployment rates were higher in December in 4 states, lower in 3 states, and stable in 43 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Fourteen states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier and 36 states and the District had little or no change.”

Iowa has the lowest rate among all 50 and the District of Columbia, at 2.4%. Alaska was highest at 6.3%. Sixteen states had numbers below the national average. Eight states and the District of Columbia had figures which were higher.

The ten states with unemployment rates below 3% were Iowa at 2.4%, Hawaii at 2.5%, Idaho at 2.6%, Minnesota at 2.8%, Nebraska at 2.8%, New Hampshire at 2.5%, North Dakota at 2.7%, South Dakota 2.9%, Vermont at 2.7%, and Virginia at 2.8%. For the most part, the states are clustered in the Great Plains or upper New England. Most also have very low populations compared to the majority of other states.

Almost all the states on the list have energy, agriculture, or tourism driven economies. The Dakotas have been beneficiaries of the fracking boom that has helped make the U.S. energy independent.

States with unemployment rates significantly different
from that of the U.S., December 2018, seasonally adjusted
————————————————————–
State | Rate(p)
————————————————————–
United States (1) ……………….| 3.9
|
Alaska …………………………| 6.3
Arizona ………………………..| 4.8
District of Columbia …………….| 5.5
Florida ………………………..| 3.3
Hawaii …………………………| 2.5
Idaho ………………………….| 2.6
Iowa …………………………..| 2.4
Kansas …………………………| 3.3
Louisiana ………………………| 4.9
Minnesota ………………………| 2.8
|
Mississippi …………………….| 4.7
Missouri ……………………….| 3.1
Nebraska ……………………….| 2.8
New Hampshire …………………..| 2.5
New Mexico ……………………..| 4.7
North Dakota ……………………| 2.7
Ohio …………………………..| 4.6
Oklahoma ……………………….| 3.2
South Dakota ……………………| 2.9
Utah …………………………..| 3.2
|
Vermont ………………………..| 2.7
Virginia ……………………….| 2.8
Washington ……………………..| 4.3
West Virginia …………………..| 5.1
Wisconsin ………………………| 3.0
————————————————————–
(1) Data are not preliminary.
(p) = preliminary.