Only 7,000 People Are Unemployed in This State

Unemployment continues to hover near a five-decade low. In July, the national figure held at 3.7%. However, the rate varies considerably from state to state. One small state had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 2.1% last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The bureau has just released its “July State Employment and Unemployment Summary.” Vermont’s unemployment rate, at 2.1%, was the lowest among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Vermont is among the smallest states as measured by its civilian labor force, at 347,790. Its rock bottom unemployment rate means that only 7,267 people were unemployed in July. As a contrast, California, the largest state, has a civilian labor force of 19,387,098. California’s July unemployment rate was 4.1%, which means 803,757 people in the state were jobless last month.

Only a few states have jobless rates anywhere near as low as Vermont’s. New Hampshire’s was 2.5% in July. Massachusetts was at 2.9% as well. The other states that qualify are in or near the Great Plains. North Dakota’s rate is 2.4%, South Dakota’s is 2.9% and Idaho’s also is 2.9%. The figure in Iowa is 2.5%. North Dakota’s labor force is small enough that when combined with its unemployment rate, it is the only state other than New Hampshire with less than 10,000 unemployed. In July, its figure was 9,686.

At the far end of the spectrum, Alaska had the highest unemployment rate of any state in July at 6.3%. It is followed by the District of Columbia at 5.6% and Mississippi at 5.1%. Here is a full list of the states where it is hardest to find full-time work.

Vermont’s only large city, Burlington, has the distinction of having the lowest unemployment rate of any city in the United States. It was 1.9% for June, the most recent period for which the government has figures. Burlington is also adding more jobs than any other city in the state. These are the cities adding the most jobs in each state.

One of the only groups troubled by Vermont’s jobs situation is employers. CNBC reported on the state’s labor issues: “Vermont’s Remote Worker Grant Program is offering incentives to workers who do the majority of their work remotely from a home office or coworking space to keep their jobs and relocate to the Green Mountain State.” Relocation expenses can be reimbursed for an amount as high as $10,000.

States With Unemployment Rates Significantly Different From That of the United States, July 2019, Seasonally Adjusted

State Rate
United States 3.7
Alaska 6.3
Arizona 4.9
California 4.1
Colorado 2.9
District of Columbia 5.6
Hawaii 2.8
Idaho 2.9
Iowa 2.5
Louisiana 4.3
Maine 3.0
Massachusetts 2.9
Mississippi 5.1
Nebraska 3.1
New Hampshire 2.5
New Mexico 4.9
North Dakota 2.4
South Dakota 2.9
Utah 2.8
Vermont 2.1
Virginia 2.9
Washington 4.6
West Virginia 4.7
Wisconsin 3.0