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.

For most of you following our updates in the articles section regularly, we’ve been breaking down monthly releases from the Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS), U.S Department of Labor that talks about the overall unemployment situation in the country for the previous month. It is a comprehensive report that gives an in depth analysis and covers all states in the U.S. If you’re someone who is curious to know the nitty gritties about the improving employment situation in the country, you must read further to understand the latest data surrounding employment and unemployment.

Let’s go ahead unravel some interesting facts and figures from Regional and State Employment and Unemployment, a monthly news release from the BLS unveiled on November 20, 2015.

During the month of October 2015, the national unemployment rate was 5.0 percent, reaching new heights by falling to the lowest during this year. Compared to 2014, it fell considerably by 0.7 percentage points. Overall, 32 states and the District of Columbia witnessed decreases in the unemployment rates during this month, 15 states registered the same rate while 3 states surged.

Split – State wise(Non farm Payroll Employment & Unemployment)

Employment opportunities increased in a whopping 40 states with D.C, fell in 9 states and Delaware remained stable.

Top 3 States with biggest job gains(Over the month)

1) California (+41,200)

2) Florida (+35,200)

3) Ohio (+30,800)

Top 3 States with considerable number of job declines(Over the month)

1) Louisiana (-6,200)

2) Indiana (-3,400)

3) North Carolina (-3,100)

Top 5 States With Highest Incline in Employment Rate(Over the month)

1) Idaho (+1.1%)

2) Alaska ( +0.9 %)

3) Wyoming (+0.8%)

Top States with Considerable Decline in Employment Rate(Over the Month)

1) Louisiana (-0.3%)

2) North Dakota (-0.2%)

Compared to 2014, non farm employment opportunities went up in 47 states and the D.C and fell in just 3 states. Idaho(+3.8%), Utah(+3.5%) and Nevada(+3.4 percent) were the top three states in the category of states that saw the highest number of job additions. On the flipside, North Dakota(-2.1 percent), West Virginia(-1.8 percent) and Louisiana(-0.5 percent) were the leading states that witnessed considerable loss of jobs.

State Unemployment

  • Continuing to lead the charts was North Dakota, the state with the lowest unemployment rate in the entire country at just 2.8 percent. We must say, it continues to be a model state for the rest in the country.
  • On the contrary, West Virginia stood low with the highest unemployment rate at 6.9 percent, continuing its dismal performance.
  • In consolidation, 20 states recorded jobless rates lower than that of the national average, 12 states with District of Columbia posted higher rates and 18 states hovered around this average.
  • Compared to numbers from the same month in 2014, 25 states with the D.C posted lower rates. The remainder were not appreciably different from that statistics in 2014.

Break Up – Region wise(Non farm Payroll)

During October 2015, Midwest continued to trend up and lead the pack with an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent(lowest) and West with 5.5 percent was the highest. The good news is no region had significant change in jobless rate.   

  • Northeast – 4.6%
  • South – 5.0%
  • Midwest – 4.2%
  • West – 5.3%

Split By Geographic Division

  • West North Central – 4.0% (Lowest among all geographical divisions)
  • East South Central & Pacific – 5.6% (Highest jobless rate among all divisions)

If you landed on this page looking for latest information on unemployment situation in the country, you must be aware of the government program that provides up to 26 weeks of monetary compensation for unemployment on the basis qualification. Read more about this scheme by navigating on the home page as desired.

In continuation with its task of providing monthly reports on the overall Employment footing across at the states in the USA, The Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS), operating under the aegis of the U.S Department of Labor released its publication titled “Regional and State Employment and Unemployment” on October 20 that presents in depth statistics, data and analysis of performance of states and regions during the month of September 2015.

In our effort to bring to you, the latest news to help you understand the nuances, let us decode this elaborate report and present the facts that really matter to you as a curious and well informed citizen.

As the case has been for over an year now, the good news continues in terms of falling unemployment numbers, month over month. The overall Unemployment Rate was 5.1 percent, the same as August 2015. Overall, 37 states and District of Columbia witnessed rate decreases during September and 7 states carried forward their respectives rates from the last month. Over the year, a massive 41 states and D.C registered decrease in jobless rate, 2 states had no change and seven states saw increases.

Split – State wise(Non farm Payroll Employment & Unemployment)

Top 3 States with biggest job gains(Over the month)

1) Texas (+26,600)

2) New York (+12,000)

3) Georgia (+9,100)

Top 3 States with considerable number of job declines(Over the month)

1) Missouri (-16,500)

2) Pennsylvania (-16,400)

3) Michigan (-9,800)

Top 5 States with highest decline in Employment(Over the month)

1) Hawaiii (-1.3.%)

2) Vermont and Wyoming ( -0.7 % each)

Top States with highest spike in Employment(Over the Month)

1) Delaware & Kansas( 0.4 % each)

2) South Carolina(0.3 %)

When compared to the same month in 2014, a whopping 46 states witnessed spike in employment that includes District of Columbia as well. The rest 4 states were not so up to the mark losing employment during this time. Utah(3.7 percent), South Carolina(3.2 percent) and Idaho & Washington(3.1 percent each) were the best performing states in this category. North Dakota(-1.6 percent), West Virginia(-1.5 percent) and Wyoming(-0.9 percent) were the states that lost the highest number of jobs.  

State Unemployment

  • A force to reckon with, North Dakota yet again proved to be the best state with lowest unemployment rate amongst all states with just 2.8 percent of the employable populace being unemployed.
  • On the flipside, West Virginia recorded the highest rate of unemployment at 7.3 percent.
  • Overall, 19 states recorded unemployment rates lower than the national average of 5.1 percent and 19 of them hovered around this average while 12 states including D.C had visibly higher rates.
  • Over the year(September 2014), 26 states and the D.C had jobless rates lower than last year and the topper in this category was Rhode Island(-1.8 percent).
  • Remainder of the states were not visibly different from what was recorded an year earlier.

Break Up – Region wise(Non farm Payroll)

During the month of September 2015, Midwest continued to lead the pack with the lowest unemployment rate of 4.5 percent and the West tumbled to stay low at 5.6 percent. There was not much change in the jobless rates regionwise, when compared to August 2015.  

  • Northeast – 5.0%
  • South – 5.1%
  • Midwest – 4.5%
  • West – 5.6%

Split By Geographic Division

  • West North Central – 4.0%
  • East South Central & Pacific – 5.7%

If you’re someone who has been unemployed recently, use the resources available on this portal to understand the benefits available in your state.