Press Releases | Jobs and Unemployment

News from EPI News from EPI Nine states still struggle with double-digit unemployment

For Immediate release: Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Contact: Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, news@epi.org, 202-775-8810

Nine states still struggle with double-digit unemployment

Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released state level jobs and unemployment data that show that despite improvements in many states, American workers throughout the country still face a long climb to economic stability.   In March, 21 states and the District of Columbia continued to have unemployment rates of 9.0% or higher, and 9 states continued to have rates of 10.0% or more.  Twenty-six states continue to suffer from total job loss of 5% or more since the beginning of the Great Recession. Three states – Kansas, New Jersey, and New Mexico – have lost jobs since March 2010.  One positive development is that 18 states have seen statistically significant reductions in their unemployment rates since March 2010. 

These state-level jobs and unemployment numbers highlight the fact that many states have a long way to go.  Moreover, measures taken to deal with both federal and state level budget deficits threaten to throw even this very tentative economic recovery into reverse.  Policies that undermine employment in either the public or private sectors threaten to drive unemployment rates back up.  Putting American workers back to work, in every state of the nation, needs to be the primary goal for state and federal lawmakers, regardless of partisan differences.

Unemployment Rate by State
March 2011 compared to start of recession, Dec. 2007

Dec-07

Mar-11

UNITED STATES

5.0%

8.8%

Alabama

3.8%

9.2%

Alaska

6.2%

7.4%

Arizona

4.1%

9.5%

Arkansas

5.1%

7.8%

California

5.8%

12.0%

Colorado

4.0%

9.2%

Connecticut

4.9%

9.1%

Delaware

3.9%

8.4%

District of Columbia

5.5%

9.5%

Florida

4.7%

11.1%

Georgia

5.2%

10.0%

Hawaii

3.0%

6.3%

Idaho

3.3%

9.7%

Illinois

5.5%

8.8%

Indiana

4.6%

8.5%

Iowa

3.9%

6.1%

Kansas

4.0%

6.8%

Kentucky

5.6%

10.2%

Louisiana

3.7%

8.1%

Maine

4.8%

7.6%

Maryland

3.6%

6.9%

Massachusetts

4.4%

8.0%

Michigan

7.2%

10.3%

Minnesota

4.7%

6.6%

Mississippi

6.1%

10.2%

Missouri

5.3%

9.1%

Montana

3.6%

7.4%

Nebraska

2.9%

4.2%

Nevada

5.0%

13.2%

New Hampshire

3.4%

5.2%

New Jersey

4.5%

9.3%

New Mexico

3.5%

8.1%

New York

4.7%

8.0%

North Carolina

5.0%

9.7%

North Dakota

3.0%

3.6%

Ohio

5.7%

8.9%

Oklahoma

3.6%

6.1%

Oregon

5.2%

10.0%

Pennsylvania

4.5%

7.8%

Rhode Island

6.0%

11.0%

South Carolina

5.5%

9.9%

South Dakota

2.8%

4.9%

Tennessee

5.4%

9.5%

Texas

4.4%

8.1%

Utah

3.0%

7.6%

Vermont

4.1%

5.4%

Virginia

3.3%

6.3%

Washington

4.7%

9.2%

West Virginia

4.1%

9.1%

Wisconsin

4.5%

7.4%

Wyoming

2.6%

6.2%


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