Over the course of 2011, the national unemployment rate has remained relatively steady. It was at 9.0% in January, and it is 9.1% according to the most recent data.
The unemployment rates of individual states, however, have experienced greater fluctuations. What follows are the unemployment rates for each state in January, each state’s current unemployment rate, and the difference between the two:
Alabama 9.3 to 9.9 [+0.6%] Alaska 7.8 to 7.5 [-0.3%] Arizona 9.6 to 9.3 [-0.3%] Arkansas 7.8 to 8.1 [+0.3%] California 12.4 to 11.8 [-0.6%]
Colorado 9.1 to 8.5 [-0.6%] Connecticut 9.0 to 9.1 [+0.1%] Delaware 8.5 to 8.0 [-0.5%] Florida 11.9 to 10.6 [-1.3%] Georgia 10.3 to 9.9 [-0.4%]
Hawaii 6.3 to 6.0 [-0.3%] Idaho 9.7 to 9.4 [-0.3%] Illinois 9.0 to 9.2 [+0.2%] Indiana 9.1 to 8.3 [-0.8%] Iowa 6.1 to 6.0 [-0.1%]
Kansas 6.8 to 6.6 [-0.2%] Kentucky 10.4 to 9.6 [-0.8%] Louisiana 7.8 to 7.8 [no change] Maine 7.5 to 7.8 [+0.3%] Maryland 7.2 to 7.0 [-0.2%]
Massachusetts 8.3 to 7.6 [-0.7%] Michigan 10.7 to 10.5 [-0.2%] Minnesota 6.7 to 6.7 [no change] Mississippi 10.1 to 10.3 [+0.2%] Missouri 9.5 to 8.8 [-0.7%]
Montana 7.5 to 7.5 [no change] Nebraska 4.3 to 4.1 [-0.2%] Nevada 14.2 to 12.4 [-1.8%] New Hampshire 5.6 to 4.9 [-0.7%] New Jersey 9.1 to 9.5 [+0.4%]
New Mexico 8.7 to 6.8 [-1.9%] New York 8.2 to 8.0 [-0.2%] North Carolina 9.8 to 9.9 [+0.1%] North Dakota 3.8 to 3.2 [-0.6%] Ohio 9.3 to 8.8 [-0.5%]
Oklahoma 6.6 to 5.3 [-1.3%] Oregon 10.4 to 9.4 [-1.0%] Pennsylvania 8.3 to 7.6 [-0.7%] Rhode Island 11.3 to 10.8 [-0.5%] South Carolina 10.5 to 10.5 [no change]
South Dakota 4.7 to 4.8 [+0.1%] Tennessee 9.4 to 9.8 [+0.4%] Texas 8.3 to 8.2 [-0.1%] Utah 7.6 to 7.4 [-0.2%] Vermont 5.7 to 5.5 [-0.2%]
Virginia 6.5 to 6.0 [-0.5%] Washington 9.2 to 9.2 [no change] West Virginia 9.6 to 8.5 [-1.1%] Wisconsin 7.4 to 7.6 [+0.2%] Wyoming 6.3 to 5.9 [-0.4%]
From the above data, a number of interesting things are worth noting. First, there are a total of six states that have seen unemployment decline by at least one percent this year: Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, and West Virginia. It does not appear that these states have much in common. Four have Republican governors, but two have Democratic governors. Four are west of the Mississippi River, but two are east of it. Three have unemployment rates higher than the national average, but three have unemployment rates that are lower than the national average. About the only thing they all have in common is that none of them are Midwestern states.
Second, there are a total of 11 states with unemployment rates that have risen in 2011: Wisconsin, Tennessee, South Dakota, North Carolina, New Jersey, Mississippi, Maine, Illinois, Connecticut, Arkansas, and Alabama. Not a single one of these states is in the West. Five are in the South, three are in the Midwest, two are in New England, and one is a Mid-Atlantic state. Seven have Republican governors and four have Democratic governors, so there is no clear political correlation. Four have unemployment rates lower than the national average, six have unemployment rates higher than the national average, and one has the same rate of unemployment as the nation as a whole.
Next, there are a total of seven states with unemployment rates that are currently above ten percent: California, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. Two are in the West, three are in the South, one is a New England state, and one is located in the Midwest. Five have Republican governors, one has a Democratic governor, and one has an Independent governor. However, six of those seven governors just took office earlier this year. Also, five of these states have unemployment rates that have declined since January. Only Mississippi has seen a slight increase (South Carolina’s numbers are unchanged).
Lastly, there are a total of seven states with unemployment rates below six percent: Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. Here we finally see something of a geographical/demographic pattern in the data. Five of these states are located in the central region of the country, and the other two are in New England. Also, every one of these states has a population of fewer than four million people, and six of them have a population below two million. Five have Republican governors and two have Democratic governors. Only South Dakota has an unemployment rate that has risen in 2011, but that is only by a tenth of a percent.Powered by Sidelines