FileUnemployment

Top States With Lowest Unemployment Rate In The US

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.  

  1. Are you able to receive unemployment in the state of Ga if you receive lump sum severance (which was the same pay as a 2 week regular paycheck)

    1. Sid,

      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.

    1. Jose,

      We’re not a scam or a fraud website:) fileunemployment.org has been around for more than 10 years and we’re one of the leading forums for unemployment insurance and unemployment in general. Our daily visitor and patron base is of considerable size and we truly believe in being a center for jobless workers to access resources and share their queries.

      1. I’m confused the article is about extending unemployment benefits in Texas but there hasn’t been any approved Emergency extensions since 2013. Can you clarify this.

        1. Glo,

          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.

  2. I’m attemptiing to file my first weekly claim since my layoff, however, my PIN# is not correct. what do I do to get my correct PIN# , please?

  3. I have exhausted my unemployment benefits in Texas but my calendar year does not end until September. Do I have to wait until the calendar year is over in Texas, to apply for unemployment benefits in New York in which I have available quarters?

    1. Mattie,

      As much as I am aware, UI benefits are only a one-time cycle. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  4. Help ran out of unemployment benefits for the pass 8 years i have worked at Hexion speciality chemical plant in Brady Texas how can i get my benefits extended

    1. Roderick,

      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.

    1. Annette,

      You can visit the official website of the Unemployment Office and ‘login’ to check the claim status. Alternatively, you can also call the Claims Center.

      PS: It should not take 6 weeks to process the initial claim. Please chase at regular intervals.

    1. Jocelyn,

      Unemployment is offered to claimants who’re able and available for work. Please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain if you can apply.

  5. I have been working for the same company for the past 11 years. I started out cleaning apartments, then landscaping and finally Asst. Manager for the past seven years. However, the owner/ manager had us all sign papers claiming we were “Independent Contractors.” I worked Monday thru Friday from 8am – 5pm the entire 11 years. Obviously, in reality, we had Never been “Independent Contractors.”
    Finally, October 2018 we became employee’s. On May 10, 2019 he sold the business which puts us all out of work. I tried filing for unemployment, but, I don’t have enough quarters in. Assuming I’m still out of work, can I wait for the next quarter to end, thus giving me the 2 quarters I need or will it not make a difference.

    1. Lea,

      Why don’t you look at alternate based period? Please use the link below to access the Base Period calculator.

  6. I have been working as an hourly employee for the last 4 months. Currently the board of the nonprofit agency came to me and told me that I had to file a 1099 or go to part time or find a new job. I have a scheduled time that I report to work. What are the laws here in Florida about who can receive a 1099

  7. I am unemployed and currently going to a community college. How can I apply for federal assistance?

    1. Carol,

      If you’re able and available for full-time employment, you can directly go to the website of the Unemployment Office and apply.

  8. 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.

      1. How long does it take Washington state unemployment to deposit your back pay after they receive the determination letter from OAH stating I won my appeal?

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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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