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Top 5 States With the Lowest & Highest Unemployment Rates in the US – 2015

Updated : January 21st, 2021

It’s nearly the end of yet another fruitful year in terms of falling unemployment numbers and growing employment opportunities across the US. The year 2015 carried over the legacy from 2014 by recording a jobless rate of 5.7 percent at the end of January 2015. Since then, the employment scenario has seen a marginal improvement, month over month.

As an individual, what really matters to you is the employment situation in your state. When BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) released their monthly report on employment/unemployment dynamics in the country, the national unemployment rate was 5.0%, the same as October 2015. However, not all states hover around the national average. While some of the best performing states continue to prove their dominance, a chosen few states have been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Let’s put some of the best and worst states (unemployment rate) under the spotlight as the year draws to a close.

Leading States With Lowest Unemployment Rates

 Top 5 States   Unemployment Rate (Nov 2015)
  North Dakota   2.7 percent
  Nebraska   2.9 percent
  Hawaii   3.2 percent
  New Hampshire   3.2 percent
  Utah   3.5 percent

1) North Dakota: The state continued to impress in 2015 as it has been doing over the last couple of years with the lowest jobless rate in the country. The much talked about oil rich state continues to create massive employment opportunities in oil and ancillary industries. The state has one of the highest weekly benefits among all states in the country.

2) Nebraska: A relatively new entrant in the list of top states with the lowest unemployment rates, this state has worked hard to create a good amount of jobs to climb its way up to the glory. From 3.1 percent jobless rate in the same month last year, the number of jobs it created during this period has gone up by 1.5 percent to come second with an unemployment rate of just 2.9%.

3) Hawaii: Another surprise entrant in the toppers list, the state continues to create ample job opportunities and continues to witness lower unemployment rates each passing month. The november 2015 rate of 3.2% makes it the lowest recorded in nearly 8 years. Around 657,800 are employed in the state on rolls of companies and firms across various sectors(Non Farm Payroll).

4) New Hampshire: With a rate of 3.2 percent, this state locks its numbers with Nebraska in position 3. It has shown considerable improvement from the same month last year when the rate was 4 percent. Sectors like the Manufacturing, Retail & Technology continue to create the best of job opportunities.

5) Utah: An old warhorse in the toppers list, Utah has added a little over 48,000 jobs year over year. Health Services, Leisure & Hospitality added the maximum number of jobs. Around 51,500 Utahns actively sought work during the month of November 2015 and the overall jobless rate was 3.5 percent.

Leading States With Highest Unemployment Rates

Bottom 5 States Unemployment Rate (Nov 2015)
  New Mexico   6.8 percent
  District of Columbia   6.6 percent
  West Virginia   6.5 percent
  Alaska   6.4 percent
  Louisiana   6.3 percent

1) New Mexico: The state’s jobless rates continue to be higher than national average as it slow job growth. It has spiked exactly by 1 percent when compared to the same month in 2014. Losses in the energy sector has taken a toll on the employment scene in the state. The mining industry was the biggest loser with over 2,900 job losses. At the end of November, New Mexico had the higher unemployment in the country with 6.8 % of the active workforce being jobless.

2) District of Columbia: Behind New Mexico by just 0.2 percentage points, D.C continues to exhibit dismal performance in creating jobs. With the U.S Department of Labor tagging the city as a “High Risk Partner” it only gets tougher for state authorities to do more than what is required to improve the employment situation in 2016.

3) West Virginia: With an unemployment rate of 6.5 percent, West Virginia has been witnessing not- so-impressive, but slow growth in creating jobs. The coal industry alone has been the biggest loser over the last few months. During November 2015, 51,500 claimants filed for unemployment compensation from this state.

4) Alaska: This state has been holding onto a jobless rate of 6.4 percent since September. Falling oil prices have been affecting the biggest industry in Alaska. Urban areas in the state continue to have low unemployment rates, below the state average.

5) Louisiana : Things have been getting better for this state that has seen a substantial fall in jobless rate which stood at 7.2 percent in November 2014. Around 135,000 Louisianans remained jobless during last month, up by 2,000 from October. With an unemployment rate of 6.3 percent, Louisiana had the 5th highest jobless rate in the US.

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