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.

Walk into a dinner party with strangers and the conversation starts with what you do for a living, children from kindergarten to near adults in high school are constantly faced with the question of what their parents are and what they do; by and by our identities are inseparable from our field of work, position and employment status. Looking at the flip side, each of these casually made remarks holds within them the reactions of shock and pity when the other is unemployed for the time being.

Stigma in the society when it comes to unemployment, for however short a time it may be, can cause distress to the individual and their loved ones – pushing them to their limits both physically and mentally. The proportional relationship between unemployment and physical health is undeniable, but the way it impacts social behavior can often be trivialized and overlooked even though it is just as or even more important. From a simple act, such as living a double life to hide one’s idleness or keep financial distress from your family by continuing to live a lavish lifestyle through credit and debt, emotionally destructive decisions such as these can both waste time as well as curb positive results.

Unemployment and its Solutions

From clinical depression, alcoholism to cope, and even increased rates of suicide, the situation seems grim, but know that unemployment isn’t permanent and the consequences can be dealt with, as can the societal stigmas. The issue is two-fold, both which exist as two sides of a coin.

1.  Questioning Self and guilt

Though it is easier said than done, it is of utmost importance that you do not link your self-worth to your employment status. Blaming oneself for the lack of a steady income, or for being laid-off, can keep you from even getting out of bed every morning, consequently cutting down on your proactive actions to solve the issue at hand.

What’s worse, doubting and guilt can keep you from accepting support or help, and even imagine stigma and persecution where there may not be any.

2.   Stigmatization and pity from others

The reaction of people around you can cause anguish in a large way as well; negative perceptions and even pity and sympathy can function as then looking down on you. It’s all about dealing with the situation at hand, making it essential for you keep your head up high and work towards objective and constructive solutions.

Working through unemployment

The solution to social stigmas when it comes to being a part of the unemployed section of society, even for a few months, is primarily to do with perceptions. Even from the opinion of a potential employer, the need to keep occupied and productive in one way or the other is seen as a positive use of time, not to mention being engrossed will keep you involved, distracted and usefully engaged.  

Keeping busy

Building upon a curriculum vitae and resume in the present job market isn’t about only official work experience and recommendations, in fact, an out-of-the-box involvement in activities is greatly appreciated and makes your resume stand out – pointing towards your active participation in community projects and exercises even at a time of difficulty.

Look to spread out to areas outside your comfort zone and field, focusing on skills such as teamwork, community interactions, multitasking, and initiative – all skills that an employer is bound to notice in an application. Social stigmas and an employer’s hesitation can be handled with one swift sweep, showing both the other and yourself that you aren’t one of the lazy and languid unemployed.

Even as a direct result, a mere volunteering project and a non-profit initiative can lead to employment opportunities – allowing you alternative modes of networking and relationship building and pointing you towards areas you may not have considered before.  

Sharpening your gray matter

A few months of losing touch with constant work can make you lose speed and skill – it is not always like riding a bike and adjusting in your new place of work can be an issue for a while. If you are out of work, keep updated on the current activities in your field, keep your brain cells working and try and explore opportunities in freelance and apprenticeships that may not pay much but will at least keep you in the loop.

Alongside, it is an idea to extend your skills as well, taking certificate courses and updating your resume through learning as opposed to only clear-cut work experience. Stagnation is the greatest worry when one is unemployed, and adding to your aptitude and expertise can only ever help.

Dealing with the hiring process

The constant job hunt is a given through the period of unemployment, and the stigmas often translate into difficult questions in the scenario of a job interview. When and if you are faced with questions regarding your not having procured a job in the given amount of time, steer clear of negative answers that may blame the situation or other agencies. Instead of mentioning the economy of the country, the increased unemployment status of individuals and a company that should have hired you but didn’t, try and bring the conversation back to your achievements and how you have worked through your time without a stable income.

Negative approaches to answering questions, as well as a general defensive attitude will most certainly be counterproductive. Both in handling conversations with family and friends, as well as with potential employers, it is important to stay sharp and positive and not allow yourself to be shaken by remarks that may be inappropriate.

While employers being discriminatory or tactless about your employment status can be unfortunate, the fact remains that the need is ours at the end of the day and we don’t have much choice but to work around their insensitivity and direct the dialog in more optimistic, constructive and beneficial directions, for both.  

Do you like planning for future? Have you planned your finances well? How easily can you make it through difficult times? We are living in a time where money is a necessity and a continuous in-flow of the same is required. In the case of any diversion from the routine path, there can be a tension that can induce stress and worry.

Unemployment Crisis
Taking a streamlined approach helps

Why should we plan for future?

Managing for difficult times is mandatory as it is never pre-decided. While growing up, we are always taught to prepare for future so that if there is an emergency, one is not caught in a situation. Midlife unemployment is one similar situation that’s critical and can affect your family life. Keeping a check on contract details may avoid this situation but it is important to ensure that your finances are well-planned and do not create a havoc in case of an emergency.

How to manage midlife unemployment crisis?

  1. Plan your finances: Lack of money can create a lot of stress resulting in depression and several other worries. Thus, it is crucial to plan finances so that there is no stress if an unplanned situation surfaces. Further, even if there is a situation, ample supply of money can keep stress at bay and help you prepare for upcoming opportunities.
  2. Be patient: Stress can induce irritability and make you feel unwanted. But losing patience cannot solve a problem and only make things worse. Therefore, it is important to not lose focus or pressurize yourself to perform. Giving you the time & space to rebound and look for goals is essential. Midlife unemployment often creates a messy situation but with your pragmatic approach, you can reach a solution.
  3. Do not lose hope: Giving up on a situation is the easiest thing to do. But being thoughtful and persistent is a winner’s way of doing things. If faced with such a situation, you too should believe in yourself and muster the courage and will to realize your dreams. One often feels negative and hopeless in such situations, but with constant effort, you can motivate yourself to create a better future for you and your family.
  4. Follow a passion: Each one of us has a hobby that we never get bored of, and pursuing the same in times of crisis will help you feel positive and stay motivated. This will also help you create some good moments that you can cherish in hard times and make it through easily. Research shows that people who don’t give up on their hobbies are happier and tend to live long.
  5. Talk to your family: There is only one family. And there is no other person who can back you like them. So, staying close and connected to your family is important as sharing your situation with them can lend you emotional support and hence, relief. You may even borrow some money from them if needed. They are non-judgmental and will help you focus on the right things without criticizing you. Thus, talk to your family and tell them how you feel because there is no one like them.
  6. Stay Vigilant: Most of the companies provide their employees with unemployment benefits and being knowledgeable of the same, can save you from a lot of trouble. There are companies that can assist you with evaluating your eligibility and the amount for insurance benefits. It is safe and risk-free. Filing unemployment is necessary as it not only entails you to your rights but also keeps you aware of any opportunity possible for you.
  7. Hone your skills: In case of unemployment due to poor managerial or technical skills, you can try & learn the same during your free time. This will boost your confidence and help you perform better in future without being conscious. Having good interpersonal skills helps us communicate better and also prevents us from any confusion in difficult times. Thus, it is important to be open to learning more and connect with people, in order to grow in life.
  8. Keep trying: The most important fact is that life is all about trying and trying hard. So, don’t give up on you and strive to learn more each day and silent the critic with your achievements. Unemployment is just a phase but it gives you sufficient time to process what went against you and work on same. Stay motivated and fit to keep trying for bigger goals, while improving your skills each day. And in no time, you will succeed.

Importance of Staying Positive

Everyone goes through hard times but it is how we come out of it that matters the most. So, stop crying and start living. This time is not meant to put you down but help you discover yourself and realize your potential. There is nothing that cannot be achieved once you are determined and have the willpower to achieve your goals. Midlife unemployment is just a phase that introduces you to the better half of your life. And with assistance from professionals, it is a cakewalk!


Being jobless is a phase of life that is not so welcoming since it primarily cuts off the monetary supply. It can also have a bearing on personal relationships and physical & mental well being. But then, it all boils down to our perception and reaction to this situation which would have occurred in almost everyone one’s life, at least once during the lifetime.

Unemployment is usually uncalled for break in career that can actually be a game changer to break away from the mundane and discover new avenues, both in terms of career interests and monetary resources. In this fast paced world, dynamics are changing at the speed of light. We’ve collated a list of key facets of this phase which is sure to help you in changing things around in your world.

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Reconsider Dreams/Aspirations

This is the right time to nurture thoughts that have been lingering on your mind for some time now. You probably aspired to be an entrepreneur, dreamt of being an artist or fantasize of being a successful businessman. Whatever the thought was, this is the right time to fuel it, since you’ve ample time to think and plan.

Stare at Career Change

Worked years doing the same job? handling the same transactions? If you’re literally bored of your present career and lack enthusiasm to seek opportunities in the same field, its time to look out for a change in career. List down things that interests you, match your skills and apply for jobs that excites you.

In the last few years, employers are welcoming candidates from other industries with a motive to increase their talent bandwidth.

Relocation for Better Prospects

If you are not contented with the opportunities available in your location-area, do consider relocating to a hub that houses a job that you desired. You can also consider a profile outside the state or country if it offers what you’ve been looking for. There are millions who relocate every year and chase their dream of having what they want.

Of course, this option requires a lot of pondering as it may involve movement of your family. Look up for resources online for guidance in this regard.

Change in Position

Perhaps, you like your job role but not happy with the position and would like to further climb up the ladder or seek a lateral movement within the available premise. Search for jobs using keywords that you match your requirement. Register for job services with various government aided and private web portals to widen your search bandwidth.

Consider Family Needs

As we grow older, the need to consider changing family dynamics also plays a role in your quest for jobs. Let’s say you have a new born daughter who needs intense care and your night shift job profile may not be the apt one at this time. Alter your job searches based on family preferences. After all, who do we earn for?

If it calls for a change in job profile/moving to another industry, you must consider it seriously.

In addition to the list above, there will be many tiny hidden facets specific to you. A deep introspection is the key to bringing them out of the closet. Make sure your next job/work meets your aspirations more than anything else.

Unemployment is a temporary phase of life where a person does not have a job or lacks opportunities to earn from employment owing to multiple reasons such as layoffs. Unemployment is one of the yardsticks to measure the economic stability of a country. Governments and agencies across the World infuse the system with multiple programs and schemes to improve the unemployment situation in their geography.

In order to address this issue, unemployment has been broken down into many categories(based on multiple factors)  for research work. One of the most widely accepted division of unemployment is based on the its economic impact. Let us explore the different types of unemployment based on economic principles.

Types of Unemployment

Frictional Unemployment

This type of unemployment occurs as workers(who left existing job voluntarily) take some time to move to another job. Some workers resign after finding a job while a large swathe of workers quit and look for jobs. There will be a time lag in finding a new job that matches their skill/experience. Some of them might even be contemplating on taking up a course/college degree to better their chances of getting a better job profile.

From an economic point of view, Frictional unemployment is not really a concern as it happens in smaller numbers and extends for a short period. Rapid advancement in technology and govt. policies over the last two decades have taken away the negative limelight from this category of unemployment. Fresh college graduates looking for employment also fall in this category.

Structural Unemployment

This can occur due to multiple correlated reasons such as less demand for skills/education in the job marketplace. More workers in the market with certain skillset than the jobs in demand or when wages do not match the market standard also fall in this category. Technological advancement and finding cheaper employment from other geographies are some of the reasons that lead to structural employment.

Seasonal employment also falls under this category since the skills a worker possesses are in demand only for a definite period. These workers remain unemployed for a definite part of the year owing to nature of job. Example: Lifeguard at a beach holiday resort. Structural employment is quite a serious concern since it can be active for a long period of time.

Cyclical Unemployment

Massive Job losses during down phases of economy is very common and during stable upward economic growth, millions of jobs are created owing to optimism in sentiments. Cyclical unemployment is the term used to described the ups and downs associated with business cycles in an economy. It is quite a natural occurrence for jobs to fall during recession due to fall in demands and similarly, they are expected to rise during stable economic growth.

Economic stability has a direct say in Cyclical employment which can be the cause for creation or destruction of  millions of employment opportunities.

Voluntary and Involuntary Employment

As the names suggest, this basic classification of employment is in terms of the “reason” for separation from the job. If a worker quit voluntarily to pursue better opportunities/aspirations, it is termed as Voluntary unemployment. On the other hand, if a worker was laid off by the employer, it is known as Involuntary unemployment.

Unemployment Insurance for Jobless Workers

In US and major countries across the World, workers who are unemployed due to involuntary reasons such as layoffs are eligible to receive a weekly monetary compensation disbursed by labor department of the respective states which is computed on the basis of last drawn salary. In all the 50 states plus D.C, you can receive up to 26 weeks of unemployment insurance.

Fast food employees in Chicago

Slow & steady, from New York to several Midwestern cities, thousands of fast-food personnel have been holding one-day strikes during peak meal times, quickly drawing national attention to their demands for higher wages.
Their chief demand is for a hike in hourly wage to $15 in times of surge in cost of living. Contemporary median hourly wage in the fast food industry is $9.05 which seems to be out of sync in gratifying basic amenities.

A Taco Bell worker, Sharise Stitt, 27, joined the strike, saying the $8.09 she earns after five years there was insufficient to support her family. She was evicted from her Detroit apartment and moved her family to her sister’s house in Taylor, Michigan. That means a 45-minute commute each way and a gas bill of $50 every four days. After taxes, she has about $900 a month to feed and clothe her three children. They receive food stamps.

Regrettably, none of the nation’s 200,000-plus fast-food restaurants are unionized.

The strategists know they want to achieve a $15 wage, but they seem to be ad-libbing on ways to get there. Perhaps they will seek to unionize workers at dozens of restaurants, although some labor leaders scoff at that idea because the turnover rate among fast-food employees is about 75 percent a year.

Limited career growth in the Fast Food Industry

Front-line jobs in the fast food industry—including cooks, cashiers, delivery workers, and other non- managerial positions—rank among the lowest-paying occupations in the U.S. economy. In response to growing criticism, industry spokespersons have defended low wages for front-line fast food workers by arguing that these jobs serve as stepping stones to higher-paying managerial positions, as well as opportunities to eventually own and operate a fast food franchise.
These claims, however, are not supported by the facts. Managerial positions account for only a tiny fraction of jobs in the fast food industry, and opportunities for franchise ownership are even fewer. Moreover, the substantial financial resources required to open a fast food franchise make entrepreneurship an unrealistic option for front-line fast food workers earning poverty-level wages.

Overwhelming Majority of Americans View Minimum Wage Increase as Important Priority for Congress over Next Year

Members of Congress call for passage of Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 after four years without a federal minimum wage increase; rallies planned in over 30 cities across the country to demand higher wages for millions of America’s lowest-paid workers.

As four years pass without an increase in the federal minimum wage, a new poll released finds that 80 percent of Americans – including 62 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of Independents – support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and indexing it to the cost of living, as proposed in the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. George Miller earlier this year. According to the poll, 74 percent of Americans consider raising the minimum wage to be an important legislative priority for Congress to address over the next year.

As members of Congress, business leaders, and workers gather in Washington on Wednesday to call for immediate passage of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, thousands of low-wage workers and their supporters in over 30 cities throughout the U.S. will hold rallies at major retail and fast food corporations, as part of a National Day of Action to raise wages for millions of America’s lowest-paid workers.

The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 would raise the federal minimum wage from the current rate of $7.25 to $10.10 per hour by 2015, and it would provide for annual increases to the rate in future years to keep pace with the rising cost of living, a key reform known as “indexing” that  ten states have already successfully implemented. The bill would also raise the minimum wage for tipped workers from its current low rate of $2.13 per hour, where it has been frozen since 1991, to 70 percent of the full minimum wage.

Unemployment rate seems to have found a steady decrease in the country but does not reflect the problems faced by workers. More on state unemployment rates here.