Skip nav to main content.

Unemployment Rates Dropped in 30 States in September

Unemployment rates were lower in September in 30 states, higher in 8 states, and stable…

  • November 10, 2020

Unemployment rates were lower in September in 30 states, higher in 8 states, and stable in 12 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

All 50 states and the District had jobless rate increases from a year earlier. The national unemployment rate declined by 0.5 percentage point over the month to 7.9 percent but was 4.4 points higher than in September 2019.

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 30 states, decreased in 3 states, and was essentially unchanged in 17 states and the District of Columbia in September 2020.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in 48 states and the District and was essentially unchanged in 2 states.

Hawaii had the highest unemployment rate in September, 15.1 percent, followed by Nevada, 12.6 percent. Nebraska had the lowest rate, 3.5 percent, followed by South Dakota, 4.1 percent, and Vermont, 4.2 percent.

In total, 27 states had jobless rates lower than the U.S. figure of 7.9 percent, 8 states had higher rates, and 15 states and the District of Columbia had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

In September, the largest unemployment rate decrease occurred in New Jersey (-4.4 percentage points). Rates declined over the month by at least 2.0 percentage points in an additional six states. The largest over-the-month jobless rate increases occurred in Hawaii (+2.1 percentage points) and Idaho (+1.9 points).

The largest unemployment rate increases from September 2019 occurred in Hawaii (+12.4 percentage points) and Nevada (+8.9 points). The smallest over-the-year rate increases occurred in Nebraska (+0.5 percentage point) and South Dakota (+0.7 point).