FileUnemployment

Top States With Lowest Unemployment Rate In The US

Author : Sam

Updated : June 11th, 2019

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.

Nebraska

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.

Utah

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.  

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  1. I applied for unemployment on 8-1 and was approved. I received my letter of eligibility and debit card about a week ago. I did not file my intitial bi weekly claim because I missed the deadline by 1 day (didn’t realize they would be closed on Saturday). When I logged on it said I would have to reopen a claim because mine had been closed. I filled out the online form to deactivate the claim. My question is this: will I have another waiting week? And will unemployment have to contact my employer all over again to verify my wages and go through the entire process all over again or will they just reopen the claim with a new date window to file?

  2. Lost my job in 10/2018 due to plant closure, collected vacation and severance pay. Opened a claim in 1/2019. Got an on the job training job through career link in 5/2019 worked one week and became very sick and was off for two weeks VA could not find anything wrong but gave me medication for the symptoms and an excuse to return to work, prior to returning got a call from my recruiter at career link telling me the position was filled so i did not return. Reopened my claim, a few weeks later got a letter informing me the employer had appealed and said i did not return, had a hearing and the employer did not show but i lost and got a 2500.00 over payment. Got a temp job through an agency but have only worked 4 days in two weeks. Reopened my claim and was told i need to earn 2604.00 from current employer before it can be opened, did i do something wrong? Still applying for work but am days away from losing everything, need income to pay bills. PLEASE HELP

    1. Rodney,

      Your eligibility to claim UI benefits depends on multiple factors including monetary eligibility. If you’ve been officially told about the shortage of earnings, there’s nothing much one can do. If you’re still confident of winning the appeal, please make a strong case.

      1. I live in KY but my base wages were from earnings in GA when I lived there. I’ve exhausted my benefits in KY. Am I able to now file through GA since my earnings through 10/18 came from there?

        1. Dee,

          As much as I am aware, Unemployment Insurance is a one time cycle. Please call the Unemployment Office in GA for more.

  3. The hours at work have been cut due to lack of business for every department.
    So all full-time positions are now part-time.
    How do I file for partial unemployment?
    The only options I see (in Texas) are for full unemployment.

    1. Eric,

      You should be able to claim partial UI benefits. Please consider applying online until full hours are restored.

    1. William,

      If everything goes well, it should not take more than 7-10 business days (waiting week). Please call the Claims Center for more.

  4. I was employed by a VA company for 5 years, my contract ended yesterday (07/31/19), however, I worked remotely for those 5 years and live in FL, which state do I apply to for my unemployment benefits?

    1. Oscar,

      Please check with your employer if they remitted UI taxes into the system. Contract workers are generally not eligible.

        1. Oscar,

          In that case, please go ahead and apply if your employer remitted UI taxes into the system.

    2. You apply in Virginia…however, I worked seasonally and they used a ‘quarter’ that was empty, so even though my employer paid in, I only got a 1/3 of what I should have received. Figured that out later :/ They will also question WHY you aren’t able and available to work IN Virginia. They froze my account for about a month.

  5. I worked 37 years with the same company in Texas. On July 2nd of 2018, I was let go due to workforce reduction. I signed up for benefits several months later and now have drawn my 26 weeks of benefit. Is there any program currently open in Texas or federally that will extend additional money while job seeking?

    1. Lonnie,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  6. I have been an employee of my company for 34 yrs. My position is being eliminated but I have been offered another position for less money. It is a much more physical job that I am not sure I can perform well. I am 75. If I try to fulfill the position and cannot do it, will I still be able to get benefits if I quit? They want me to try it for a couple of weeks to see if I am strong enough and if I can afford the cut in pay.

    1. Lynda,

      I suggest you call the Unemployment Office to find out about eligibility before making a decision on continuation.

      1. I recently lost my job..i was late for work and they took me off the schedule..never told me i was fired..didnt ask for uniforms back. Another cook was andd has been late for work and he didnt get taken off the schedule.can i still get unemployment?

        1. Kandie,

          Please note UI benefits are only offered to claimants who lose employment due to no fault of their own. You can call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  7. Are there any training benefits or programs that will pay for an advanced degree, such as a PhD which is needed to become more employable?

    1. There are multiple training programs administered by the Labor Department in each state. For more info, please call visit the official website of the Unemployment Office.

  8. I’m about to exhaust my Unemployment benefits. I was laid off from my first job and
    found employment then I lost my job and became unemployed again. I applied for benefits and have have almost exhausted my benefits but have not found employment. Can I file for an extension?

    1. Deanna,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  9. After reading your article it’s still not clear to me about requirements surrounding moving to another state and completing/continuing to collect. I have 8 weeks eligibility left, I am moving from MA to FL. The end of your article says: “Since it’s all virtual (online), you may still consider the option of continuing your claims from the base state even if you move to a different one until completion. As a responsible claimant, it’s your duty to inform the base state about your movement to ensure there are no hassles in the near future.”

    So it sounds like even once I am in new state I am eligible to continue to collect from my base state. I can just continue to do my required weekly job search and reporting to and filing in my base state (I do it via phone call-in). No need to complicate things by doing some crazy state transfer of benefits. Benefits also done via direct bank deposit and no need to change anything. Do I even need to tell my base state I am now living in a new state? Why? Thank you.

    1. Paul,

      For the ease of understanding, each state has its specific rules and laws with regard to administering Unemployment Benefits. It might be an obligation for a claimant to inform about the movement. For clarification, please call the Unemployment Office and speak to a representative.

  10. I was recently fired from my work 25-June-2019/due to me not meeting their “standards/ expectations” i submitted my UE claim on 28-June and have not received any pay as of today, 19-July. The status is currently “adjudication in progress,” my question is, should i be worried this will be denied? I read the FAQ on the UE webpage and it said only a couple applications require the adjudication process. How long does this process usually take to get the final answer of whether I’m denied or approved? The website stated it susuallt takes ~25 days for the adjudication process, does this mean once that’s done then i still have to wait another 2-6 weeks for final processing after? THANK YOU SOO MUCH to whomever is able to provide me with some answers/ input.

    Sincerely,
    Talia
    ** this is my first time ever being fired or having to file for unemployment so i really have nooooo idea what is standard or normal or whatever. I feel like an idiot with my simple questions but it would bring me so much relief having them answered, truly

    1. Talia,

      I can understand your reason for the anxiety. Adjudication is a fact-finding process where both the claimant and the employer will get an opportunity to present their case. During this process, make sure to produce supporting documents that amplify your stance. For all you know, the adjudication can be a lengthy process.

      Best Wishes!

  11. I was permanently severanced from my job due to a Co. Reorg & received my last severance pay last week. I called UE & was told that I should now do my application online since I will no longer be getting funds & still without a job & that this coming Sunday regardless of knowing if I will or will not get benefits yet that I should still file a weekly claim in case of UE back pay.
    So my question is, do I still have to report 4 jobs applied to within this week, even if I do not know if I will be approved/denied for benefits until possibly next week anyway?

    1. Lynda,

      You should continue to report the job applications as long as you’ve been asked to do so. There will be a “Waiting Period” and the first payment will take about 7-10 days after which they’ll flow much quicker. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  12. I tried to transfer from one state to another. When I left Montana I was told there would be no problem transferring. When I arrived in North Carolina I had trouble reaching the area manager by phone. When he finally called me back he said to meet him for lunch to discuss when and where I would be working. He did not show up for lunch. Then he never returned any of my calls. I went PA to visit a friend a few weeks later and tried there. I met with the hiring manager and was told there should not be a problem doing the transfer since I was still in the system. I called the store a few times and they said it was still pending. Then I was terminated without even a phone call. Am I eligible for unemployment and if so do I file in Montana or North Carolina. I still have a Montana drivers license but I am living in NC.

    1. Stacey,

      As long as you were unemployed involuntarily, you should be able to claim UI benefits. Please consider applying.

  13. I have worked for 32+ years and recently have become unable to work due to health reasons, so I have had to resign from my job. I have contacted SS and will be able to apply for disability but it will take awhile to process. Can I apply for unemployment benefits? I live in WV.

    1. Sandra,

      UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for more.

  14. I had to quit my job at Walmart in Fairmont West Virginia and moved back to my home state ky, I’ve got a son with drug problems and 3 older sisters that are not doing so well in health cause of their age. I didn’t understand about the transfer part they had at Walmart that I could put a date when I could start back because of my car problems I thought when I left I had to go in like in s few days, I’ve applied here at Walmart in Winchester ky 40391 two times already plus dollar store, speedway, truck stop, bp, a few other places it’s been going on 7 months without a job I live with my son and its getting harder on him paying rent and utilities and food, not to mention our personal hygiene stuff I really need help I have no income coming in to help him and his wife out I get foodstamps and Medicaid I was praying I could qualify for unemployment PLEASE HELP!!!

    1. Vicky,

      I can understand your situation. Unfortunately, UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for further clarification.

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