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Vermont Still Has the Lowest Unemployment Rate Among U.S. States

Vermont had the lowest unemployment rate among U.S. state in October, at just 2.2 percent,…

  • December 13, 2019

Vermont had the lowest unemployment rate among U.S. state in October, at just 2.2 percent, according to new numbers from the Labor Department. This is not the first time that Vermont has led the pack.

Unemployment rates were lower in October in 4 states, higher in 2 states, and stable in 44 states and the District of Columbia

Eight states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 3 states had increases, and 39 states and the District had little or no change.

The national unemployment rate, 3.6 percent, was little changed over the month and from October 2018.

While Vermont had the lowest unemployment rate in October, the rates in Alabama (2.8 percent), California (3.9 percent), Maine (2.8 percent), and South Carolina (2.6 percent) set new series lows. (All state series begin in 1976.)

Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 6.2 percent. In total, 15 states had unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 3.6 percent, 12 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 23 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

South Carolina had the largest over-the-month unemployment rate decrease (-0.3 percentage point) in October, closely followed by Alabama and Utah (-0.2 point each) and Georgia (-0.1 point).

Delaware and Pennsylvania had the only rate increases (+0.2 percentage point each). The remaining 44 states and the District of Columbia had jobless rates that were not notably different from those of a month earlier, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes.

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