Round Up of Regional & State Unemployment – 2014

The year 2014 has been a game changer for the unemployment situation across the country. The end of this auspicious year saw overall unemployment rates dwindling  from 7.4(Dec 2013) to 6.2%(Dec 2014), a massive fall of 1.2 percentage points, bringing cheers to the labor class, government agencies and other key stakeholders across the nation.The national employment – population stood at  59.0%, an increase of 0.4 percentage points.

State Wise Data

The year saw unemployment rates decrease in all the 50 states and District of Columbia, second time in the history since 1984 where all the states recorded a fall in jobless rates. 2014 also saw key records such as 20 states recording decline in overall unemployment rate of at least 1.0%. Illinois saw the biggest decline at -2.0% reduction in the overall jobless rates.

Top Three Best Performing States

North Dakota – 2.8

Nebraska – 3.3

South Dakota – 3.4

North Dakota continued to lead the wagon with lowest national average at 2.8%. Trailing behind was Nebraska at 3.3% followed by South Dakota at 3.4%. These three states continue to lead by example across the country.

Top Three States With Highest Unemployment Rates

Mississippi & Nevada – 7.8

District of Columbia – 7.8

Rhode Island – 7.7

All the three states tumbled in 2014 and failed to make any improvements in the overall unemployment rates when compared to their year end rates for 2013.

Region Wise Data

Midwest & Northeast advanced with largest decrease in jobless rates during 2014 at-1.4% each. During the year, unemployment rates came down in all the four regions. West North Central came first with lowest annual average jobless rate at 4.6% among all 9 geographical divisions. All the nine divisions also saw decline in unemployment rates.

Region Jobless Rate(2014)
West 6.8
Mid West 5.8
North East 6.1
South 6.0

State & Regional Employment Data

North Dakota continued to dominate the charts with 70.8% employed persons in 2014, followed by Nebraska(68.9%) & Iowa(67.3%). The following are the states with lowest proportion of unemployed persons in 2014.

West Virginia –  49.7%

Mississippi –  50.1%

New Mexico – 53.6%

The year saw employment – population ratios going up in all the 4 regions. The Midwest stood tall at employment-population ratio of 61.3%, the highest among all the regions.

2015, looks like, will be an icing on the cake. At the time of publishing this article, the unemployment rate for Feb 2015 was down at 5.5% , 0.2 percentage points decrease from January.

  1. I have worked in AZ since March 2016. However, I moved lived and worked for my employer in CA since 08/02/1982. Can I apply for Cali unemployment benefits?

    1. Robert,

      You should be applying from the state where your employment was based. Employers generally remit unemployment taxes to the state where the employee is based.

  2. I have been trying for over a month to file and I still do not seem to be able to do it, but I finally got to the correct place, I think.

  3. Cumberland NJ Unemployment Center kept me on hold for 2 hours; I finally had someone answer my call, after providing my information and question regarding the status of my NJ Unemployment Claim the representative disconnected my call.

  4. Excellent list of things to help execute better. Even taking 3 or 4 of these that one does not currently utilize could help immensely.

    1. How did you calculate the total weekly Illinois benefit of $1495? Also, why isn’t Washington and Minnesota listed in your top 5 states with the highest paid unemployment insurance compensation?

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