Unemployment Rate By State 2019
One of the main indicators of the state of the United States economy is the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate is reported every month by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The unemployment rate is not only a measure of the economy’s strength but also a measure of the overall happiness and wellbeing of U.S. citizens. Long-term unemployment is a burden for many and can cause financial, emotional, and psychological ruin. A person’s ability to provide for themselves and their family, pay their bills, and contribute to society are key factors in maintaining a happy life and cultural wellbeing.
There are three types of unemployment, all of which help explain why there is unemployment at a given time.
- Frictional unemployment is caused by temporary transitions people make when moving to a new location, entering or re-entering the workforce, or switching from one job to another in search of better pay or a better fit of their skills. Frictional unemployment is also caused by employers laying off or hesitating to hire employees for reasons unrelated to the economy.
- Structural unemployment happens when there is a mismatch in the demographic or industrial composition of a local economy. This happens when new technology causes a decline in older industries, which must then lay off workers to stay competitive. Outsourcing is also a part of structural unemployment.
- Cyclical unemployment occurs when there is not enough demand for goods and services in the economy at large to provide jobs for everyone. This is a natural result of capitalism.
The current national unemployment rate is 3.7%. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the unemployment rate varies between states, ranging from 2.10% to 6.40%. In general, the current unemployment rates in the states are lower than they were in 2018, with only a few exceptions.
Below is each state's unemployment rates in 2018 for comparison.
In 2019, Alaska has the highest unemployment rate of 6.40%. This, however, is lower than its 2018 unemployment rate of 7.30%. The higher unemployment rates can be attributed to the seasonality of jobs, the natural frictional unemployment, and the population that lives a subsistence lifestyle.
Vermont currently has the lowest unemployment rate of 2.10%, down from 2.80% in 2018. Business owners, however, considered the low unemployment rate to a problem as they are quickly growing and will have trouble finding qualified workers in Vermont. Ultimately, Vermont business owners think the unemployment rate is too low.
Below is each state’s unemployment rate for 2019.