Unemployment rates were lower in May in six states, higher in two states, and stable in 42 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The national unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent in May and was little changed from May 2018.
Vermont had the lowest unemployment rate in May, 2.1 percent. The rates in Texas (3.5 percent) and Vermont (2.1 percent) set new series lows. (All state series begin in 1976.) Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 6.4 percent. In total, 12 states had unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 3.6 percent, nine states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 29 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.
Twenty-four states had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment in May. The largest job gains occurred in Texas (+286,300), California (+282,700), and Florida (+214,500). The largest percentage gain occurred in Nevada (+4.0 percent), followed by Utah and Washington
(+2.8 percent each).