The national unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in April 2019. Among the states, Vermont had the lowest unemployment rate (2.2 percent), followed by North Dakota (2.3 percent), and Iowa and New Hampshire (both 2.4 percent). April unemployment rates were also below 3.0 percent in eight other states: Hawaii, Idaho, Massachusetts, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In total, April unemployment rates were at or below 4.0 percent in 38 states.
Alaska’s 6.5 percent unemployment rate was the highest of any state. The next highest unemployment rates were in the District of Columbia (5.6 percent), New Mexico (5.0 percent), and Arizona, Mississippi, and West Virginia (each 4.9 percent).
The national unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points between April 2018 and April 2019. The unemployment rate fell the most over the year in Delaware (-0.7 percentage points), followed by Massachusetts and Nevada (both -0.6 percentage points).
The unemployment rate increased the most over the year in Hawaii (0.5 percentage points), Colorado (0.4 percentage points) and Minnesota (0.3 percentage points). In total, 12 states saw their unemployment rate increase over the year.
Total national (public and private) nonfarm payroll employment increased 1.8 percent from April 2018 to April 2019. Among the states, the largest year-over-year increases were in Nevada (3.6 percent), Utah (3.0 percent), Arizona (2.8 percent), and Washington (2.7 percent). In total, 10 states saw their total employment increase 2.0 percent or more over the year.
No state saw a decline in total nonfarm employment over the year. Louisiana’s 0.1 percent increase in total employment was the smallest of any state.
Total national public-sector employment increased 0.6 percent from April 2018 to April 2019. Among the states, the largest year-over-year increases were in Delaware (2.3 percent), Vermont (2.2 percent), Utah (2.0 percent), and Hawaii (1.8 percent). In total, 12 states saw their public employment increase 1.0 percent or more over the year.
Public-sector employment declined over the year in 14 states and the District of Columbia. The largest declines were in New Hampshire (-1.1 percent), Washington (-0.8 percent), and New Mexico and West Virginia (both -0.7 percent).