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Study Exposes Alarming Unemployment Gaps Across States Ranging From 2 to 5.4

New Research Reveals The Top 10 U.S. States With The Widest Unemployment Gaps in 2023

FormRush’s recent research reveals worrying disparities in state-level unemployment figures across America for 2023. While the latest national rate sits at a stable 3.6%, FormRush’s ranked analysis of 2023 data for individual U.S. states shows two distinct clusters – those succeeding at job growth and those urgently falling behind.

The top 10 states with the highest unemployment reached rates over 5.4%, compared to states with the lowest unemployment rates under 2% for states like South Dakota, North Dakota, and Maryland.

Table 1. States with the highest unemployment rates

Rank

State

2023 Rate

1

Nevada

5.4

2

District of Columbia

4.9

3

California

4.6

4

Illinois

4.4

5

Delaware

4.3

6

New York

4.1

7

Texas

4.1

8

Washington

4.0

9

New Jersey

4.0

10

Michigan

4.0

Key details on the top 10 high unemployment states:

1. Nevada

Nevada had the highest unemployment rate at 5.4% at the end of 2023, with job recovery in hospitality and entertainment continuing to lag. The state’s heavy tourism dependence has challenged the rebound.

2. Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. followed closely with 4.9% unemployment, as cuts to public sector employment like government administrative jobs have hampered hiring progress.

3. California

California unemployment stood at 4.6% last December, showing an uneven jobs recovery across regions with the tech-centric Bay Area rebounding strongly while other areas struggle.

4. Illinois

Illinois’ 4.4% unemployment rate in December reflects its gradual recovery from long-term declines in heavy industry and manufacturing across many metro areas.

5. Delaware

Delaware’s 4.3% joblessness underscores reliance on financial and chemical sectors facing consolidation risks that compound workforce impacts from regional declines.

6. New York

With Wall Street and the finance industry recovering strongly, New York’s 4.1% unemployment underscores how much the state relies on the workplace ecosystem and economic vibrancy of New York City.

7. Texas

Texas’ steady 4.1% unemployment despite its business-friendly policies shows that even resilient economies grapple with lasting impacts from pandemic turbulence. The state still copes with a hospitality sector not fully recovered and regional disparities polarizing metros.

8. Washington

At 4% unemployment, lingering aerospace declines in Washington weigh down hiring despite pockets of tech-sector resilience during turbulent times. The state contends with changes hitting cornerstones while emerging industries develop footing.

9. New Jersey

New Jersey’s 4% unemployment highlights an uneven recovery complicated by statewide barriers like affordability challenges for small businesses looking to expand workforces after the pandemic’s blows. Tourism and transit trajectories chart paths ahead.

10. Michigan

At 4% unemployment in December, Michigan continues to grapple with lingering manufacturing job loss that has spanned decades across its metro Detroit and Flint regions.

Table 2. Complete unemployment rate by state rankings

Rank

State

2023 Rate

1

Nevada

5.4

2

District of Columbia

4.9

3

California

4.6

4

Illinois

4.4

5

Delaware

4.3

6

New York

4.1

7

Texas

4.1

8

Washington

4.0

9

New Jersey

4.0

10

Michigan

4.0

11

Kentucky

4.0

12

Alaska

3.9

13

Oregon

3.9

14

Arizona

3.8

15

Pennsylvania

3.8

16

Connecticut

3.7

17

West Virginia

3.7

18

New Mexico

3.6

19

Ohio

3.6

20

Louisiana

3.5

21

North Carolina

3.5

22

Mississippi

3.3

23

Indiana

3.3

24

Tennessee

3.3

25

Wyoming

3.3

26

Georgia

3.2

27

Hawaii

3.1

28

South Carolina

3.1

29

Colorado

3.0

30

Minnesota

3.0

31

Oklahoma

3.0

32

Arkansas

3.0

33

Massachusetts

3.0

34

Iowa

2.9

35

Rhode Island

2.9

36

Idaho

2.9

37

Virginia

2.9

38

Kansas

2.9

39

Wisconsin

2.8

40

Missouri

2.8

41

Florida

2.7

42

Maine

2.7

43

Montana

2.6

44

Utah

2.5

45

Alabama

2.3

46

Vermont

2.2

47

Maryland

2.2

48

New Hampshire

2.2

49

Nebraska

2.1

50

North Dakota

2.0

51

South Dakota

2.0

Methodology

The analysis conducted by FormRush to examine state-level unemployment disparities in 2023 involved a comprehensive study utilizing data obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The primary objective was to identify and understand the variations in unemployment rates across individual U.S. states, leading to the categorization of states into two distinct clusters: those experiencing significant job growth and those grappling with higher unemployment rates. For further information please contact formrush team.

 

Johanna Little, Sr. Data Scientist

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