A Look at Unemployment Numbers in Every State

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The unemployment rate reached levels hardly ever seen before due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2020, the rate was 14.8% — the highest rate since data collection began, according to the Congressional Research Service.

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Unemployment sharply declined after April, falling to 7.9% by September 2020 and further still to 4.8% by September 2021. It’s clear from the data that unemployment rates are falling and people are getting back to work.

However, large differences remain between states. For example, in September 2021 the unemployment rate was 7.5% in Nevada compared to just 2% in Nebraska.

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This gallery will take a look at these differences across states and see which ones are doing the best right now. The gallery will go from the state with the highest rate of unemployment on the September 2021 report to the state with the lowest rate.

51. Nevada

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50. California

49. New York

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48. New Jersey

47. New Mexico

46. Connecticut

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45. Illinois

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44. Hawaii

43. District of Columbia

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42. Alaska

41. Pennsylvania

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40. Maryland

New Orleans, Lousiana – October 10, 2016: NEW ORLEANS – OCTOBER 18, 2016: view of the famous Canal Street on October 10, 2016 in New Orleans, LA

39. Louisiana

38. Mississippi

37. Arizona

36. Texas

35. Colorado

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34. Ohio

33. Delaware

32. Rhode Island

31. Massachusetts

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30. Washington

29. Florida

28. Maine

27. Oregon

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26. West Virginia

25. Michigan

24. Wyoming

23. Tennessee

22. Kentucky

21. North Carolina

Historical downtown area of Charleston, South Carolina, USA

20. South Carolina

19. Arkansas

18. Iowa

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17. Indiana

16. Wisconsin

15. Kansas

14. Virginia

13. Missouri

12. Minnesota

Fargo, North Dakota, USA – June 12, 2017: Daytime view of the Fargo Theatre along Broadway N in the Downtown Historic District

11. North Dakota

10. Montana

9. Georgia

8. Alabama

7. Oklahoma

6. Vermont

5. New Hampshire

4. South Dakota

3. Idaho

2. Utah

1. Nebraska

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Last updated: Oct. 29, 2021 

Methodology: For this piece, GOBankingRates looked at the most recently released U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data to find (1) the September 2021 and August 2021 unemployment rates as a rounded percentage of the labor force in each state, accounting for seasonal adjustment. (2) We then calculated the percentage difference between the current and previous month’s rates, as well as the year-over-year percent change in unemployment between September 2020 and September 2021. States were ranked based on current unemployment rates. All data was collected on and up to date as of October 25, 2021.