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12 states set all-time low unemployment rates in December 2021

January 31, 2022

In December 2021, Nebraska (1.7 percent) and Utah (1.9 percent) had the lowest jobless rates. In addition to those states, the following states set all-time low unemployment rates: Arkansas (3.1 percent), Georgia (2.6 percent), Idaho (2.4 percent), Indiana (2.7 percent), Kentucky (3.9 percent), Mississippi (4.5 percent), Montana (2.5 percent), Oklahoma (2.3 percent), West Virginia (3.7 percent), and Wisconsin (2.8 percent). (All state data begin in January 1976.) California (6.5 percent) and Nevada (6.4 percent) had the highest unemployment rates.

State unemployment rates, December 2021, seasonally adjusted
State December 2021 Historical High Historical Low

Alabama

3.1% Jan. 1983: 14.9% Mar. 2020: 2.6%

Alaska

5.7 Apr. 2020: 11.8 Jan. 2020: 5.0

Arizona

4.1 Apr. 2020: 14.2 Aug. 2007: 3.5

Arkansas

3.1 Mar. 1983: 10.1 Dec. 2021: 3.1

California

6.5 Apr. 2020: 16.0 Nov. 2019: 4.1

Colorado

4.8 Apr. 2020: 12.1 May 2017: 2.4

Connecticut

5.8 Jun. 2020: 11.4 Aug. 2000: 2.0

Delaware

5.0 Apr. 2020: 13.4 May 1988: 2.8

District of Columbia

5.8 Mar. 1983: 11.3 Jun. 1989: 4.7

Florida

4.4 May 2020: 14.2 Jun. 2006: 2.4

Georgia

2.6 Apr. 2020: 12.5 Dec. 2021: 2.6

Hawaii

5.7 May 2020: 21.9 Jan. 2020: 2.0

Idaho

2.4 Apr. 2020: 11.6 Dec. 2021: 2.4

Illinois

5.3 Apr. 2020: 16.5 Jan. 2020: 3.5

Indiana

2.7 Apr. 2020: 16.9 Dec. 2021: 2.7

Iowa

3.5 Apr. 2020: 11.1 Sept. 2018: 2.5

Kansas

3.3 Apr. 2020: 12.6 Oct. 1978: 2.9

Kentucky

3.9 Apr. 2020: 16.9 Dec. 2021: 3.9

Louisiana

4.8 May 2020: 13.1 Nov. 2007: 3.9

Maine

4.7 Apr. 2020: 9.1 Jun. 2019: 2.6

Maryland

5.0 May 2020: 9.0 Dec. 2019: 3.3

Massachusetts

3.9 Apr. 2020: 16.4 Mar. 2020: 2.7

Michigan

5.6 Apr. 2020: 23.6 Feb. 2000: 3.2

Minnesota

3.1 May 2020: 11.3 Mar. 1999: 2.5

Mississippi

4.5 Apr. 2020: 15.7 Dec. 2021: 4.5

Missouri

3.3 Apr. 2020: 12.5 Feb. 2000: 3.0

Montana

2.5 Apr. 2020: 11.9 Dec. 2021: 2.5

Nebraska

1.7 Apr. 2020: 7.4 Dec. 2021: 1.7

Nevada

6.4 Apr. 2020: 29.5 Dec. 2019: 3.6

New Hampshire

2.6 Apr. 2020: 16.0 Jun. 1987: 2.1

New Jersey

6.3 Apr. 2020: 16.6 Jun, 2019: 3.2

New Mexico

5.8 Jul. 2020: 12.5 Sept. 2007: 3.5

New York

6.2 Apr. 2020: 16.2 Dec. 2019: 3.7

North Carolina

3.7 May 2020: 13.5 Mar. 1999: 3.1

North Dakota

3.1 May 2020: 8.7 Jan. 2020: 2.2

Ohio

4.5 Apr. 2020: 16.4 Mar. 2001: 3.8

Oklahoma

2.3 Apr. 2020: 13.0 Dec. 2021: 2.3

Oregon

4.1 Apr. 2020: 13.2 Dec. 2019: 3.3

Pennsylvania

5.4 Apr. 2020: 16.2 Apr. 2000: 4.1

Rhode Island

4.8 Apr. 2020: 17.4 May 1988: 2.7

South Carolina

3.5 Dec. 2009: 12.1 Nov. 2019: 2.4

South Dakota

2.6 Apr. 2020: 9.2 Apr. 2000: 2.4

Tennessee

3.8 Apr. 2020: 15.8 Aug. 2019: 3.3

Texas

5.0 Apr. 2020: 12.9 Jun. 2019: 3.4

Utah

1.9 Apr. 2020: 10.1 Dec. 2021: 1.9

Vermont

2.5 Apr. 2020: 14.8 Jun. 2019: 2.2

Virginia

3.2 Apr. 2020: 11.3 Nov. 2000: 2.1

Washington

4.5 Apr. 2020: 16.3 Dec. 2019: 3.9

West Virginia

3.7 Mar. 1983: 18.4 Dec. 2021: 3.7

Wisconsin

2.8 Apr. 2020: 14.8 Dec. 2021: 2.8

Wyoming

3.3 Jan. 1987: 9.1 May 1979: 2.3

Unemployment rates were lower in December 2021 in 42 states and the District of Columbia and stable in 8 states. In total, 17 states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rates higher than the U.S. figure of 3.9 percent, 16 states had lower rates, and 17 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

In December 2021, 48 states and the District had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier and 2 states were little changed. The largest unemployment rate decrease from December 2020 occurred in Hawaii (−4.6 percentage points), closely followed by Massachusetts (−4.5 points). Another 3 states and the District of Columbia experienced declines of 3.0 percentage points or more.

These data are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program and are seasonally adjusted. To learn more, see "State Employment and Unemployment — December 2021." Also see more charts and maps on state employment and unemployment. Estimates for the most recent month are preliminary.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 12 states set all-time low unemployment rates in December 2021 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2022/12-states-set-all-time-low-unemployment-rates-in-december-2021.htm (visited August 16, 2022).

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