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State Unemployment Update

State Unemployment Rates | September 2014

10/21/2014

Rates Down in 31 States in September

Unemployment rates dropped in 31 states in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Rates increased in eight states and Puerto Rico, while rates in 11 states and the District of Columbia were unchanged. The national unemployment rate for September was 5.9, the first time unemployment has dropped below six percent since July 2008.

Compared to a year ago, unemployment has dropped in 42 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico, increased in five states and was unchanged in three states.

Thirty-nine states experienced job growth during September. States with the largest job growth were Texas, Illinois and Colorado, which saw 36,400; 19,300; and 14,600 new jobs respectively. California had the largest number of job losses, down by 9,800 jobs, followed by Pennsylvania, which lost 9,600 jobs.

Georgia had the highest unemployment rate among the states, at 7.9 percent, but that is down from 8.1 percent in August. North Dakota again had the lowest unemployment rate, at 2.8 percent.

Seven states had statistically significant unemployment rate decreases in September. Unemployment fell by 0.4 percentage points in Colorado and Kentucky, by 0.3 percentage points in Nevada, and by 0.2 percentage points in Florida, Idaho, Minnesota and New York. The only statistically significant increases in unemployment were in Vermont and Massachusetts, up by 0.3 and 0.2 percentage points respectively.

State unemployment rates for October will be released on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014.

September 2014 State Unemployment Rates *   

State

Rate

State

Rate

Alabama

6.6

Montana

4.6

Alaska

6.8

Nebraska

3.6

Arizona

6.9

Nevada

7.3

Arkansas

6.2

New Hampshire

5.2

California

7.3

New Jersey

6.5

Colorado

4.7

New Mexico

6.6

Connecticut

6.4

New York

6.2

Delaware

6.5

North Carolina

6.7

DC

7.7

North Dakota

2.8

Florida

6.1

Ohio

5.6

Georgia

7.9

Oklahoma

4.7

Hawaii

4.2

Oregon

7.1

Idaho

4.5

Pennsylvania

5.7

Illinois

6.6

Puerto Rico

14.1

Indiana

5.7

Rhode Island

7.6

Iowa

4.6

South Carolina

6.6

Kansas

4.8

South Dakota

3.4

Kentucky

6.7

Tennessee

7.3

Louisiana

6.0

Texas

5.2

Maine

5.8

Utah

3.5

Maryland

6.3

Vermont

4.4

Massachusetts

6.0

Virginia

5.5

Michigan

7.2

Washington

5.7

Minnesota

4.1

West Virginia

6.6

Mississippi

7.7

Wisconsin

5.5

Missouri

6.3

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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