An individual is considered unemployed if he/she has no current job and yet they are available to work or if they are currently looking for a job. People who were temporarily laid off and are on stand by for a call back are also included. The unemployment rate of a country is measured by the economy’s strength and growth rate. It is a significant indicator that follows the economic trend which is useful in establishing and identifying economic turning points. Determining the unemployment rate is a key factor as to when should the government intervenes and stimulate the economy. Unemployment is the result of a recession and recession causes turmoil in modern society.
The unemployment rate is the number of the unemployed as a percent of the civilian labor force. To roughly estimate the unemployment rate, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics uses two different labor force surveys. The first one is the Current Population Survey (CPS) or the Household Survey and the second one is the Current Employment Statistics Survey (CES) or the Payroll Survey. The Current Population Survey is conducted on a sample size of 60,000 households and measures the unemployment from the International Labour Organization (ILO) definition. If the CPS is conducted towards household, the Current Employment Statistics survey is aimed towards businesses and government agencies. These companies and agencies represent at least 400,000 individual employees. From the surveys, the government will then provide the data and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will then calculate the rate using their six measure of unemployment (U1 – U6). The result will be used in updating the unemployment rate on the first Friday of each month. A report every month may or may not indicate an ongoing trend as to why the unemployment rate increased or decreased.
As of December 2019, nation-wide unemployment reached a low of 3.5 % in comparison to 2018’s 3.9 %. Out of the 50 states in the United States, 15 of them had a notably lower unemployment rate than the 3.5 % of the United States, 12 of the states along with the District of Columbia had higher jobless rates, and the rest are not significantly different than that of the nation.
Here are the data from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program from the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics.
The 15 states that have a lower unemployment rate are South Carolina (2.3 %), Utah (2.3 %), Vermont (2.3 %), North Dakota (2.4 %), Colorado (2.5 %), Hawaii (2.6 %), New Hampshire (2.6%), Virginia (2.6 %), Alabama (2.7 %), Iowa (2.7 %), Massachusetts (2.8 %), Idaho (2.9 %), Maine (2.9 %), Florida (3.0 %), and Nebraska (3.1 %).
The states which have a closer unemployment rates are Georgia (3.2 %), Indiana (3.2 %), Kansas (3.2 %), South Dakota (3.2 %), Minnesota (3.3 %), Missouri (3.3 %), Tennessee (3.3 %), Montana (3.4 %), Oklahoma (3.4 %), Wisconsin (3.4 %), Maryland (3.5 %), New Jersey (3.5 %), Rhode Island (3.5 %), Texas (3.5 %), Arkansas (3.6 %), Connecticut (3.7 %), Illinois (3.7 %), North Carolina (3.7 %), Oregon (3.7 %), Wyoming (3.7 %), Nevada (3.8 %), Delaware (3.9 %), and Michigan (3.9 %).
The states that have a higher jobless rate are California (3.9), New York (4.0 %), Ohio (4.2 %), Kentucky (4.3 %), Washington (4.3 %), Pennsylvania (4.5 %), Arizona (4.6 %), New Mexico (4.7 %), Louisiana (4.9 %), West Virginia (5.0 %), District of Columbia (5.3 %), Mississippi (5.7%) and Alaska (6.1 %).
According to the report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Alaska has the highest unemployment rate in 2019. Alaska has an unemployment rate of 6.10 % but it is considerably lower in comparison to its 2018 unemployment rate of 7.30 %. Currently, the unemployment rate in the United States of America increased by 0.1 %. The unemployment rate as of January 2020 is now 3.6 %.
The industry that greatly amassed the highest unemployment rate in the United States is the Agriculture and its related industries at 12.5 %. However, the workers in oil and gas extraction, mining, and quarrying had the lowest unemployment rate of 1.9 %