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Unemployment Rate In January 2018

The Employment situation is a monthly report provided by the US Bureau of Labour statistics. The report mainly consists of data which involves the unemployment rates in the country. This unemployment rate research takes into account all factors such as unemployment in the terms of ethnicity, race, gender, age and industry.  The report also examines the improvement/decline in wage among companies. While the report does provide the data, here are the important highlights simplified to make it easier to understand for the common reader.


Current Unemployment Rates

Unemployment rate seasonally adjusted January 2016 January 2018

The employment situation in the United States remains unchanged for the fourth consecutive month at 4.1 %. In terms of the number of people, that too remains relatively unchanged with 6.7 million people unemployed.

When it comes to the major working groups, the black community had a rise in unemployment to about 7.7% while unemployment among the whites decreased to 3.5%. The jobless rates remained similar to that of last month with adult men (3.9%), adult women (3.6%), teenagers (13.9%), Asians (3.0%) and Hispanics (5.0%).

In terms of long-term unemployed i.e people who haven’t been employed for 27 weeks or longer. it was changed to 1.4 million and accounts for 21.5% of the overall unemployed.

However, persons employed on a part-time basis for economical purposes remained at 5 million, which was the same in January 2018. These individuals would prefer to work in full-time jobs but were given only the options to work part time or full time with major cutbacks to hours.

200,000 jobs were created in the month of January for Non-Farm employment. Employment continued to rise in food services and drinking places, healthcare, construction, and manufacturing.

Construction had increased their tally of jobs by 36,000 jobs in January. Most of this boost in jobs comes from Specialty trade contractors (+26,000) while employment in the residential building construction rose by 5000. Over the year, the construction sector has set about the creation of 226,000 jobs.

Employment in the food services and drinking places sector rose by 31,000 in the month of January. Over the past twelve months, the industry managed to provide 255,000 jobs.

The Healthcare industry continued to rise in terms of job creation in the month of January with 21000 jobs. 13,000 of which were jobs created in hospitals. Healthcare added in an average of 24,000 jobs this past month.

Employment in the manufacturing sector continues to be on an upswing with +15,000 jobs. The durable goods industry has also been on the rise with an increment of 18000 jobs. Manufacturing overall has brought in 186,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

Employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, professional and business services, and government, changed little over the month.

Increase in Wage Rates

Non farm Payroll Employment Over The Month Change Seasonally Adjusted January 2016 January 2018

Industries in the US brought in 200,000 jobs which were more than the 180,000 jobs that were predicted. An example of this is the rise in hourly wages by 2.9% yearly in comparison to January of last year. In terms of monthly raises, it has increased by a good 0.3%. This means that the promised growth and recovery from the recession periods are finally starting to show in American wage pockets.

Many employers believe that since most of their competitors are providing equivalent wages, employees are leaving their jobs in order to gain more convenience. This has to lead to employers in the US to not only increase hourly wage rates but to improve the quality of the job. Employers intend to curb their attrition by giving employees more valued work and training in multiple skill sets.

According to the NY Times, it’s to be believed that unemployed people with a criminal background will not find it extremely difficult to gain employment. This acceptance of unemployed persons with criminal history mostly pertains to fast food restaurant chains, megastores, etc., where the skill requirement is very low.

While the unemployment rate remains at 4.1% for the past four months, it isn’t a bad phase. This is because the current unemployment rate is at an all-time low. The last time unemployment rates were low was over a decade ago in 2007. Since then, Unemployment rates have climbed dangerously and then slowly trickled down to the rate it currently is.

According to the New York Times, the new tax reform legislation pitched by Congress and signed by U.S President Donald Trump has encouraged employers and companies to increase wages of their employees and also provide them with bonuses. It is believed that not much can be predicted over the long-term consequences of the recent US tax reforms but for the moment, the employees have everything to gain.


Despite Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the latest unemployment rates have remained below the 5% mark that President Barack Obama achieved. The unemployment rates across the US have been dipping constantly with occasional minute spikes. In a recent report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it showed a 0.2% drop in the unemployment rates for September, bringing it to 4.2%. Despite a decline of 33,000 non-farm jobs, the total number of people unemployed has dropped by 331,000 to 6.8 million. There has been an improvement in the total number and the rate of decline of unemployed persons when compared to the year-over-year improvements.

In the foodservice sector, BLS researchers notice a fall in employment that has been factored by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. The sector alone has contributed towards adding an average of 24,000 job opportunities every month.

Unemployment Rate by State for September 2017

unemployment rate september 2017 US

The overall unemployment rate for September was expected to not be a pretty picture. However, the BLS report further added that the overview for the month looked positive with an increase of 0.3% in the ratio of population-to-unemployment, bringing it to 60.4%. The current labor force participation rate of 63.1% has continued the year-long trend showing a small improvement.

The report also contained additional information about the employment situation for September 2017.

  • Non-farm employment has been adding 172,000 jobs per month on an average
  • Employment in transportation and warehousing grew by 22,000 jobs
  • There was no change in Manufacturing employment which broke the industry’s trend of adding an average of 14,000 jobs for the past 10 months
  • The 40.7 hour average workweek remained the same throughout manufacturing and even overtime remained unchanged at 3.3 hours. The value of non-farm sectors is 6 hours lesser than that of manufacturing sectors
  • Average hourly earnings rose by $0.12 making it $26.55. The average hourly pay, however, increased by $0.74 or 2.9% when compared against that of September 2016

Top 5 States with the Lowest Unemployment Rate

The states with the top 5 ranks for the lowest unemployment rates for September 2017 are as follow:

  • North Dakota – 2.4%
  • Colorado – 2.5%
  • Hawaii – 2.5%
  • New Hampshire – 2.7%
  • Idaho – 2.8%, and
  • Nebraska – 2.8%

Unemployment Rates September 2017 with Ranking

(Seasonally adjusted)

State September 2017 Rate (%) Rank in Unemployment Rate

(Lowest to Highest)

North Dakota 2.4 1
Colorado 2.5 2
Hawaii 2.5 2
New Hampshire 2.7 4
Idaho 2.8 5
Nebraska 2.8 5
Vermont 2.9 7
Tennessee 3.0 8
Iowa 3.2 9
South Dakota 3.4 10
Utah 3.4 10
Arkansas 3.5 12
Wisconsin 3.5 12
Maine 3.7 14
Minnesota 3.7 14
Virginia 3.7 14
Alabama 3.8 17
Florida 3.8 17
Indiana 3.8 17
Kansas 3.8 17
Maryland 3.8 17
Missouri 3.8 17
Massachusetts 3.9 23
Montana 3.9 23
South Carolina 3.9 23
Texas 4.0 26
Wyoming 4.0 26
North Carolina 4.1 28
Oregon 4.2 29
Rhode Island 4.2 29
Michigan 4.3 31
Georgia 4.5 32
Oklahoma 4.5 32
Connecticut 4.6 34
Washington 4.6 34
Arizona 4.7 36
New Jersey 4.7 36
Pennsylvania 4.8 38
Delaware 4.9 39
Nevada 4.9 39
New York 4.9 39
Illinois 5.0 42
California 5.1 43
Louisiana 5.1 43
West Virginia 5.1 43
Kentucky 5.2 46
Mississippi 5.2 46
Ohio 5.3 48
New Mexico 6.2 49
District of Columbia 6.5 50
Alaska 7.2 51

Top 10 Metro Areas with the Lowest Unemployment Rate for September 2017

The top 10 Metropolitan areas with the lowest unemployment rate for the month of September 2017 are as follow:

  1. Fort Collins, CO
  2. Boulder, CO
  3. Fargo, ND-MN
  4. Bismarck, ND
  5. Greeley, CO
  6. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
  7. Idaho Falls, ID
  8. Dover-Durham, NH-ME
  9. Portsmouth, NH-ME; and
  10. Urban Honolulu, HI

If you are among the population who is currently unemployed and you are searching for jobs, we hope to have given you answers to all your questions on the unemployment situation. In case you have more questions, you can visit our Community Forums to get instant answers to your queries. Interact with people in the same situation as well experts in the field and clear your head from the questions.

With 8 years of president ship behind him, Barack Obama successfully reduced the unemployment rate to below 5%, a monumental success given that he took office when the country was facing its greatest economic downward spiral. But is that all? There are indeed many states, who have really pushed their limits. After exploring the most friendliest States for starting a new business, here’s our take on the top cities with the lowest unemployment rate, packed with one of the lowest tax rates, better housing facilities, and low business costs too. They are truly the new sunshine states, in the most literate sense of the word.

The US, in its record since the 2008 economic crisis has hit the lowest unemployment rates in other specifics too, with a record low veteran and teenage unemployment rates.

Let’s examine why these states apart from having the lowest unemployment rates, can also be the best places to raise a family, consequently ticking all the right boxes.

While on paper (as stats indicate), as of July 2016, the state with highest unemployment rate would be Alaska, with a rate of 6.7%, while South Dakota stands at the lowest, at 2.8%. This sounds like we could nearly prove that for many economic models, the full unemployment is may no longer be a prerequisite/assumption but a realized dream! (Well, almost!)

Top 5 States With Lowest Unemployment Rates

  1. South Dakota – 2.8%
  2. New Hampshire – 2.9%
  3. Nebraska – 3.1%
  4. North Dakota – 3.1%
  5. Vermont – 3.2%
Map of states with lowest Unemployment Rate
Map of states with the lowest Unemployment Rate

But are they also the best cities to live in and raise a living? Is a city with low unemployment rate all you need to lead a prosperous lifestyle? Turns out, it isn’t. Here, we give you the highlights as to what makes a city friendly enough to figure in our list –

Our Picks For Places To Start Work And Raise Families

Cities within the state of Texas, Utah, Nebraska and North Dakota easily from our top picks. It is a more than a decent mixture of ingredients, encompassing, low tax rates, good education system, state-backed innovative programs, high civilian employable population combined with lowest unemployment rates, all consistent over the years, and business friendly too. These factors are what increasingly matter to most people looking to establish a foothold in an urban set-up.


In places like Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska, there is incredibly low unemployment rate combined with high civilian workable population. Lincoln, as a city, stands at third place, with 3.3% of unemployment rate with a civilian labor force of 177,377 as of July 2016.  

Its economy is highly reliant on its primary, agricultural sector, freight transport, telecommunications, manufacturing industries, information technology, including the transportation sector.

Close to one-third of its population possess a bachelor degree, making it a highly competitive labor market when compared against other states whose educational qualification lie in between one-fourth or 25%. Nebraska’s State Department of Labor is also well-known for its efforts to train eligible unemployed populace with skill sets that help increase their prospects of finding a new or a better job.

Benefit schemes in the State of Nebraska are also one of the most sought-after, for they provide unemployment benefits from 1 week to 26 weeks. As computed by Gallup Daily Tracking, Nebraska is found to have one of the highest job-creation indexes at 35 and its track record boasts of the lowest of all percentages of ‘letting-go workers’ which stands at 8.


Similarly, Logan, Utah with a Civilian Labor Force of 67, 870 has an unemployment rate of 4.0%.

Utah seems to have understood that to create a favorable environment for employees to stay, it is not enough to just create a welcoming business environment. In addition, it should be a place where they can picture themselves settling down to raise their families and go on living. To fulfil these aspects, Utah has spent a lot of money trying to make people favor them into believing they have the best of class housing facilities and can provide an overall good quality of life, which they do! Utah also benefits from having a high number of colleges both in terms of favoring graduates and also families looking for a secure place of education.

North Dakota

Our third favorite is North Dakota with highly prosperous cities like Bismarck which with a civilian labor force of 62,242 stands first with an unemployment rate of 2.9% (when ranked against cities). The cost of living charges closely follows national average with the national average cost of living index at 100. While Fargo is one the most prosperous of its cities with overall costs of living lower than the national average, Bismarck has a slightly above average for groceries, housing, and health with below average indices for transportation, and utilities.

A study combined with the tools of research correlating tax incentive programs (including tax rates) to unemployment rates are found to be having a direct relationship to each other. After evaluating the census data of a particular state (as published in the Review of Regional Studies by Kala Seetharam Sridhar), that post implementation of tax incentive programs, over time, effectively impacts the unemployment rate.

When a city turns into an enterprising zone, welcoming new businesses and creating an environment which entices them, can at the end of a year, approximately affect up to 3% of its unemployment rates. This can easily be the case with the cities within Texas. It is not one or two, but a numerous number of cities that have qualified into being one of the most business-friendly of states, not to forget the least tax rates too. Odessa, Texas, with a civilian labor force of 83, 418 has an unemployment rate of 3.9% and Midland, with a Civilian Labor Force of 87, 857 has an unemployment rate of 3.3%.  

Texas though has a very high record in terms of percentage of hiring new workers at 44%, it is job creation index falls a little short at 31 though still holds itself at the national average.

Why Is It Important To Pick From The Best American Cities?

Politics of fear has been the defining criteria for developing a fixed perception that America has been damaged internally with an increase in export of jobs through MNCs looking to setting up enterprises abroad. But real stats have a way of breaking these myths circulating around, as, in the past 10 years, U.S. has created 10 million jobs with a few hundred thousands of jobs still being created every month. July saw 255,000 new jobs being added to the market, while the figure has been consistent for the past few months too. In short, this may be some of the best times to live in for the labor market has met its surplus with a tenacity not seen since the Reagan days.

If you are one to be unemployed and are looking for alternate options at securing a job, we hope to have answered all your questions. File Unemployment is one place where you can get answers on, eligibility criteria, benefit amount calculation, weekly and other benefit schemes from all States in the U.S. Go and check out our Community Forums to get instantaneous answers to your queries, by both people who have received benefits as well as our experts in the field.  

The unemployment rate reached a record low in the month of April and has persisted with the same rate in May. Presently standing at 3.6 percent, the unemployment rate is at its lowest in the last 50 years.

There are various reasons that are responsible for the reduction in the unemployment rate. Among others, the performance of some states in increasing the employment opportunities must be given due credit.

Below is the list of five states that have recorded the lowest unemployment rate for the month of May 2019: 

Top 5 states recording the lowest unemployment rates for May 2019:



April 2019  rate (%)



2.2 1
North Dakota 2.3 2
Iowa 2.4 3
New Hampshire 2.4 3
Hawaii 2.8



The state with the lowest unemployment rate for the month of May is Vermont, which stands at  2.2 percent. This is considered to be the lowest ever figure for a state ever since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics online historical series started in 1976. 

In the last year, sectors such as durable manufacturing, accommodation & food services, and health and social assistance have been hiring a large number of people. The total workforce population of Vermont is  345,000, which in comparison to other states is a relatively small population. It has, nevertheless, managed to provide employment opportunities to most of the eligible job-seekers.

Click here to know more about Vermont’s unemployment benefits. 

North Dakota

North Dakota’s incredible growth has resulted in elevating the state to reach the second position. With the unemployment at 2.3 percent, the state just fell behind Vermont by 0.1 percent. 

Unemployment peaked in North Dakota in 2009 at 4.3 percent. The state managed to reduce 2 percentage points in the span of 10 years. The number of unemployed persons has also come down from 15,724 to 6,382. Click on the link to know about the UI benefits in North Dakota


Iowa, along with New Hampshire recorded the third lowest unemployment rate for the month of May. The state has an unemployment rate of 2.4 percent, which is second only to Vermont and North Dakota.

The number of people that are unemployed has dropped to 40,000, whereas the total workforce is over 1.7 million. Those who are looking for UI benefits in Iowa, check the Iowa Unemployment Benefits page.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire shares the third place with Iowa with a 2.4 percent unemployment rate for the month of May. The state is also regarded as one of the healthiest states to live in. It also has the second lowest crime rate in the United States.

With all these distinctions, New Hamshire is surely one of the most attractive destinations for both prospective employers and employees. Out of the civilian labor force of 764,000, around 18,910 people are yet to land a job in the state, while the remaining 745,090 are employed.

To those who are looking for UI benefits, check out the New Hampshire UI benefits page.


Hawaii, with a 2.8 percent unemployment rate, stands in the fifth position for the month of May. Although the state is facing some challenges in producing more jobs due to an economic slowdown, it has managed to keep most of its workforce employed. 

The state’s workforce has a strength of over 670,000, out of which over 19,000 are still looking for a job. 


The contribution of these states along with the others has led to the reduction of the unemployment rates to a historic low in the country. A more prolonged performance as this would help create a lot more jobs for future generations.