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State Unemployment Update

State Unemployment Rates | February 2015

3/27/2015

Rates Drop in 26 States in February

Unemployment rates declined in 26 states and Puerto Rico in February 2015. Rates went up in six states and the District of Columbia, and remained unchanged in 18 states, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compared to a year ago, unemployment has decreased in 46 states and Puerto Rico, increased in four states and remained unchanged in D.C.

States showing the strongest job growth for the month were California, with 29,400 new jobs, Georgia, with 25,400 jobs created, and New York, up by 20,200 new positions. States with the largest job losses were Connecticut, down by 3,700 jobs, followed by Rhode Island and West Virginia, down by 2,700 and 2,400 job respectively.

Over the year, employment increased in all 50 states and D.C., with the largest job growth in Utah, up by 4.2 percent. North Dakota saw employment grow by 4.0 percent, followed by Georgia, up by 3.8 percent.

Nevada led the states in February with the highest unemployment rate, at 7.1 percent. Nevada was one of the states hardest hit by the recession, with rates that hovered in the 14 percent range in 2010 and 2011, but steadily declined over the last several years.

Nebraska had the lowest unemployment rate in February, at 2.7 percent, followed by North Dakota, at 2.9 percent.

State Unemployment figures for March will be released on Tuesday, April 21, 2015.

February 2015 State Unemployment Rates *   

State

Rate

State

Rate

Alabama

5.8

Montana

4.3

Alaska

6.3

Nebraska

2.7

Arizona

6.5

Nevada

7.1

Arkansas

5.5

New Hampshire

3.9

California

6.7

New Jersey

6.4

Colorado

4.2

New Mexico

6.0

Connecticut

6.4

New York

5.8

Delaware

4.8

North Carolina

5.3

D.C.

7.8

North Dakota

2.9

Florida

5.6

Ohio

5.1

Georgia

6.3

Oklahoma

3.9

Hawaii

4.1

Oregon

5.8

Idaho

3.9

Pennsylvania

5.2

Illinois

6.0

Puerto Rico

11.6

Indiana

5.9

Rhode Island

6.3

Iowa

4.1

South Carolina

6.6

Kansas

4.2

South Dakota

3.4

Kentucky

5.2

Tennessee

6.6

Louisiana

6.7

Texas

4.3

Maine

5.0

Utah

3.4

Maryland

5.5

Vermont

3.9

Massachusetts

4.9

Virginia

4.7

Michigan

5.9

Washington

6.3

Minnesota

3.7

West Virginia

6.1

Mississippi

7.0

Wisconsin

4.8

Missouri

5.5

Wyoming

4.0

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

Unemployment Rates

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State Legislation

State Resources

Federal Resources

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