Unemployment Rates in September across the US

Updated : October 24th, 2017

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.

    1. Jose,

      We’re not a scam or a fraud website:) 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 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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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