Over the year ended in August 2018, 11 states had statistically significant unemployment rate changes, all of which were decreases. The largest decline occurred in New Mexico, where the jobless rate decreased from 6.0% to 4.6%, a change of −1.4%.
In August 2018, Illinois, South Carolina, Delaware, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Virginia were the only other states that had 12-month unemployment rate decreases of −0.7% or more. Unemployment rates in these states ranged from 3.0% in Virginia to 4.1% in Illinois and Pennsylvania.
In August 2018, Hawaii had the lowest unemployment rate, 2.1%. The rates in Idaho (2.8%), Oregon (3.8%), South Carolina (3.4%), and Washington (4.5%) set new series lows. (All state series begin in 1976.) Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 6.7%.
The state unemployment data are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program and are seasonally adjusted. Data for the most recent month are preliminary. See “State Employment and Unemployment — August 2018” to learn more.