In May 2018, unemployment rates were down over the year in 11 states and unchanged in 39 states and the District of Columbia. The national unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, down from 4.3 percent in May 2017.
Among the 11 states with unemployment rate decreases over the year, the largest decline occurred in New Mexico (–1.1 percentage points), followed closely by Kentucky (–1.0 point).
Hawaii had the lowest unemployment rate in May (2.0 percent), while Alaska had the highest rate (7.2 percent). Thirteen states had unemployment rates that were lower than the U.S. figure of 3.8 percent, 17 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 20 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.
These data are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program and are seasonally adjusted. Data for the most recent month are preliminary. To learn more, see “State Employment and Unemployment — May 2018.” For more charts and tables related to state employment and unemployment, see the state chart package.