In October 2019, 15 states had unemployment rates that were lower than the U.S. rate of 3.6 percent. Vermont had the lowest unemployment rate in October 2019, 2.2 percent. North Dakota and Utah both had unemployment rates of 2.5 percent, while Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Virginia each had unemployment rates of 2.6 percent in October. Six other states had rates that were 3.0 percent or lower.
Unemployment rates in Alabama (2.8 percent), California (3.9 percent), Maine (2.8 percent), and South Carolina (2.6 percent) set new series lows. (All state unemployment data series begin in 1976.)
Unemployment rates were higher than the national rate in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 6.2 percent. Unemployment rates were also above 5.0 percent in Mississippi and the District of Columbia. Arizona, New Mexico, and West Virginia all had unemployment rates of 4.8 percent in October.