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State Unemployment Update

State Unemployment Rates | October 2014

11/21/2014

Rates Down in 34 States in October

Unemployment decreased in 34 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico during October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Rates went up in five states, while they remained unchanged in 11 states.

Compared to a year ago, unemployment is lower in 42 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico, while it is higher in five and unchanged in three states. The national unemployment rate for October dropped to 5.8 percent, down from 7.2 percent in October of 2013.

Thirty-eight states experienced job growth in October. California created the most new jobs, up by 41,500 jobs, followed by Texas and Florida, with 35,200 and 34,400 new jobs respectively. Nevada lost the most jobs, down by 7,300 positions. New York and New Jersey also saw job laws, down by 5,600 and 4,500 jobs respectively.

For the third month in a row, Georgia led the states with the highest unemployment rate, at 7.7 percent. North Dakota again had the lowest unemployment rate, at 2.8 percent.

Unemployment dropped by half a percentage point in Kentucky in October, the largest drop among the states. It was down by 0.4 percentage points in Colorado, Idaho, Missouri and North Caroline. The only statistically significant increase in unemployment was in Washington, where unemployment rose by 0.3 percentage points.

State unemployment rates for November will be released on Friday, Dec. 19, 2014.

October 2014 State Unemployment Rates *   

State

Rate

State

Rate

Alabama

6.3

Montana

4.5

Alaska

6.8

Nebraska

3.4

Arizona

6.8

Nevada

7.1

Arkansas

6.0

New Hampshire

4.2

California

7.3

New Jersey

6.6

Colorado

4.3

New Mexico

6.5

Connecticut

6.4

New York

6.0

Delaware

6.4

North Carolina

6.3

D.C.

7.6

North Dakota

2.8

Florida

6.0

Ohio

5.3

Georgia

7.7

Oklahoma

4.5

Hawaii

4.1

Oregon

7.0

Idaho

4.1

Pennsylvania

5.4

Illinois

6.6

Puerto Rico

14.0

Indiana

5.7

Rhode Island

7.4

Iowa

4.5

South Carolina

6.7

Kansas

4.4

South Dakota

3.3

Kentucky

6.2

Tennessee

7.1

Louisiana

6.2

Texas

5.1

Maine

5.8

Utah

3.6

Maryland

6.0

Vermont

4.4

Massachusetts

6.0

Virginia

5.3

Michigan

7.1

Washington

6.0

Minnesota

3.9

West Virginia

6.5

Mississippi

7.6

Wisconsin

5.4

Missouri

5.9

Wyoming

4.7

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.

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