The national unemployment rate was 4.0 percent in January 2019. Iowa and New Hampshire had the lowest unemployment rates of any state (both 2.4 percent), followed by North Dakota and Vermont (both 2.5 percent). January unemployment rates were at or below 3.0 percent in seven other states: Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In total, January unemployment rates were at or below 4.0 percent in 36 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 (5.4 percent), West Virginia (5.2 percent), and New Mexico and Arizona (both 5.1 percent).
The national unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points between January 2018 and January 2019. The unemployment rate fell the most over the year in Connecticut (-0.8 percentage points), followed by Oklahoma and South Carolina (both -0.7 percentage points), and Delaware, New Jersey, and New York (all -0.6 percentage points). In total, the unemployment rate fell 0.5 percentage points or more over the year in 13 states.
The unemployment rate increased the most over the year in Colorado (0.8 percentage points), followed by Hawaii (0.4 percentage points), and Arizona and Maine (both 0.3 percentage points). The unemployment rate also increased over the year in Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Oregon, and Wisconsin.
Total national (public and private) nonfarm payroll employment increased 1.9 percent from January 2018 to January 2019. Among the states, the largest year-over-year increases were in Nevada (3.9 percent), Utah (3.4 percent), Arizona (2.8 percent), West Virginia (2.7 percent), and South Dakota and Washington (both 2.5 percent). In total, 11 states saw total employment increase 2.0 percent or more over the year.
No state saw a decline in total nonfarm employment over the year.
Total national public-sector employment increased 0.5 percent from January 2018 to January 2019. Among the states, the largest year-over-year increases were in Delaware (2.7 percent), Utah (1.8 percent), and Vermont and Oregon (both 1.6 percent). In total, public employment increased 1.0 percent or more in nine states.
Public-sector employment declined over the year in 14 states and the District of Columbia. The largest declines were in Washington (-1.0 percent), West Virginia (-0.9 percent), the District of Columbia (-0.8 percent), and New Hampshire (-0.7 percent).