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State Unemployment Rates

The U.S. unemployment rate has dipped below 5%, a recovery of jobs that nobody could have expected when we were in the teeth of the Great Recession. But the wealth of jobs is spread unevenly among U.S. states.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the unemployment rate for each state, ranging from the most highly-employed (Colorado, at a 2.3% unemployment rate) to Alaska on the bottom end (a 6.7% unemployment rate). It is perhaps encouraging to see that none of the U.S. states has anything close to 11% of workers out of jobs, which was the national unemployment rate back in 2009.

Among the most highly-employed states are North Dakota (2.5%), Hawaii (2.7%), Nebraska, New Hampshire and South Dakota (2.9%), and Iowa, Vermont and Wisconsin (3.1%). States near the bottom of the rankings include New Mexico (6.6% unemployed), the District of Columbia (6.0%), and Louisiana (5.7%).

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