The Bureau of Labour Statistics released December unemployment figures this morning and North Dakota continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 2.6%. It’s followed by South Dakota and Nebraska, both at 3.6%.
On the other end, Rhode Island’s 9.1% unemployment rate is the highest in the nation, edging out Nevada (8.8%) and Illinois (8.6%) for that dubious distinction.
Louisiana had the largest drop in its unemployment rate from November to December. It fell from 6.3% to 5.7%. North Carolina, South Carolina and New Jersey all saw their unemployment rates drop by half a percentage point. In North Carolina’s case, it’s unclear how much that drop is the result of people finding jobs or dropping out of the labour force.
The unemployment rate across the country currently sits at 6.7%. While this was a significant improvement from where it was at the beginning of 2013, the labour-force participation rate is currently at a 36 year low. The reasons for that are mixed, but it certainly means we are not yet close to full employment.
Here’s how the December unemployment rates compare for every state:
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