Back 

State Unemployment Update

State Unemployment Rates | December 2014

1/27/2015

Rates Drop in 42 States in December

Unemployment rates dropped in 42 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico in December, according to figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Four states saw increases and the rates in the remaining four were unchanged. Compared to a year ago, unemployment has declined in 46 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Rates increased in two states and remained unchanged in two states, compared to a year ago.

The largest job growth for the month was in Texas, with 45,700 new jobs. New York and Illinois followed in job growth, with 30,400 and 17,100 new jobs respectively. The largest job losses were in Minnesota, down by 5,200 jobs; Idaho, with 2,700 job losses; and New Mexico, which lost 1,600 jobs in December.

Of the 42 states where unemployment declined, the decreases were statistically significant in 19 states. The largest decline was in Delaware, where unemployment dropped by 0.6 percentage points, followed by Michigan and North Carolina, with unemployment in each falling by 0.4 percentage points.

For the second month in a row, Mississippi led the states with the highest unemployment rate, at 7.2 percent, although that is down from its rate of 7.3 percent in November. As it has throughout the recession and recovery, North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate, at 2.8 percent.

State unemployment figures for January will be released on Tuesday, March 17, 2015.

December 2014 State Unemployment Rates *   

State

Rate

State

Rate

Alabama

5.7

Montana

4.2

Alaska

6.3

Nebraska

2.9

Arizona

6.7

Nevada

6.8

Arkansas

5.7

New Hampshire

4.0

California

7.0

New Jersey

6.2

Colorado

4.0

New Mexico

6.1

Connecticut

6.4

New York

5.8

Delaware

5.4

North Carolina

5.5

D.C.

7.3

North Dakota

2.8

Florida

5.6

Ohio

4.8

Georgia

6.9

Oklahoma

4.2

Hawaii

4.0

Oregon

6.7

Idaho

3.7

Pennsylvania

4.8

Illinois

6.2

Puerto Rico

13.7

Indiana

5.8

Rhode Island

6.8

Iowa

4.1

South Carolina

6.5

Kansas

4.2

South Dakota

3.3

Kentucky

5.7

Tennessee

6.6

Louisiana

6.7

Texas

4.6

Maine

5.5

Utah

3.5

Maryland

5.5

Vermont

4.2

Massachusetts

5.5

Virginia

4.8

Michigan

6.3

Washington

6.3

Minnesota

3.6

West Virginia

6.0

Mississippi

7.2

Wisconsin

5.2

Missouri

5.4

Wyoming

4.2

Source: U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

*  Preliminary figures from BLS.

Note that NCSL cannot provide advice or assistance to private citizens or businesses regarding employment-related matters.  Please consult your state department of labor or a private attorney.

Additional Resources

NCSL Resources

Trust Funds

State Legislation

State Resources

Federal Resources

Share this: 
NCSL will help you Shine
New Members Welcome
We are the nation's most respected bipartisan organization providing states support, ideas, connections and a strong voice on Capitol Hill.

NCSL Member Toolbox

Denver

7700 East First Place
Denver, CO 80230
Tel: 303-364-7700 | Fax: 303-364-7800

Washington

444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 515
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: 202-624-5400 | Fax: 202-737-1069

Copyright 2015 by National Conference of State Legislatures