to the National Atlas Home page
About | Fact Sheets | Contact Us | Partners | Products | Site Map | FAQ | Help | Follow us on Twitter 
Part of Project LogoAgricultureBiologyBoundariesClimateEnvironmentGeologyGovernmentHistoryMappingPeopleTransportationWater
to the Interactive Map MakerMap LayersPrintable MapsWall MapsDynamic MapsArticlesMapping Professionals

Map Maker
Economy - Unemployment Rates: 2009
Map Layers
Labor Statistics - Annual Averages


  State And Regional Unemployment, 2010 Annual Averages

downRegional Unemployment
downState Unemployment
downRegional Employment-Population Ratios
downState Employment-Population Ratios

  Annual average unemployment rates in 2010 rose in 31 states and the District of Columbia, declined in 18 states, and remained the same in one state. Employment-population ratios decreased in 43 states and the District of Columbia, increased in three states, and were unchanged in four states. Jobless rates increased in three regions and decreased in one, and employment-population ratios declined in all four regions in 2010. The United States jobless rate rose by 0.3 percentage point from the prior year to 9.6 percent, while the national employment-population ratio fell by 0.8 point to 58.5 percent.

Unemployment Map

  back to top
  Regional Unemployment

Three of the four regions posted statistically significant unemployment rate changes from 2009, all of which were increases. The West experienced the largest rise (+0.9 percentage point), followed by the South (+0.4 point) and Northeast (+0.3 point). The West, at 11.1 percent, also registered the only jobless rate significantly above that of the entire country, 9.6 percent in 2010. The Northeast and South, at 8.7 and 9.3 percent, respectively, both had rates significantly below the national figure. The rates in the West and South set new annual series highs in 2010 (the annual series began in 1976).

Five of the nine geographic divisions also reported statistically significant unemployment rate increases in 2010: the Mountain (+0.9 percentage point), Pacific (+0.8 point), West South Central (+0.7 point), South Atlantic (+0.5 point), and Middle Atlantic (+0.4 point). The four remaining divisions registered jobless rates that were not significantly different from those of a year earlier. The Pacific division posted the highest unemployment rate, 11.7 percent. The divisions with the next highest rates were the East North Central, 10.4 percent, and the East South Central, 10.0 percent. The rates for the Pacific and East North Central divisions were significantly above the U.S. rate, as was the rate in the South Atlantic, 9.9 percent. The rates in the Pacific and South Atlantic set new series highs, as did the 9.7 percent rate in the Mountain division. The division with the lowest unemployment rate was the West North Central, 7.3 percent. Three other divisions - the Middle Atlantic, New England, and West South Central - also recorded rates significantly lower than the U.S. rate.

  back to top
  State Unemployment

Twenty-two states reported statistically significant unemployment rate changes from 2009 to 2010, eighteen of which were increases and four of which were decreases. Of those increases, six were greater than 1.0 percentage point: Nevada (+2.4 points), Idaho (+1.6 points), New Mexico and West Virginia (+1.4 points each), Florida (+1.3 points), and California (+1.1 points). Michigan and Minnesota recorded the largest rate declines over the year (-0.8 percentage point each), closely followed by Tennessee and Vermont (-0.7 point each). All four changes were significant. Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia reported annual average unemployment rates for 2010 that were not appreciably different from those of the previous year, even though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the statistically significant changes. (See Bureau of Labor Statistics table 1).

In 2010, 15 states reported unemployment rates of 10.0 percent or more. Nevada recorded the highest rate, 14.9 percent, followed by Michigan, 12.5 percent, and California, 12.4 percent. (This was the first time since 2005 that Michigan did not post the highest unemployment rate among the states.) North Dakota again registered the lowest jobless rate among the states, 3.9 percent in 2010. The states with the next lowest rates were Nebraska and South Dakota, at 4.7 and 4.8 percent, respectively. Twenty-seven states had unemployment rates that were significantly lower than the U.S. rate of 9.6 percent, and 10 states recorded rates significantly above it. Eight states reported the highest jobless rates in their annual series: California, 12.4 percent; Colorado, 8.9 percent; Delaware, 8.5 percent; Florida, 11.5 percent; Georgia, 10.2 percent; Idaho, 9.3 percent; Nevada, 14.9 percent; and Rhode Island, 11.6 percent. (See table B.)

  back to top
  Regional Employment-Population Ratios
  In 2010 all four regions registered statistically significant deterioration in their employment-population ratios - the proportion of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and over with a job. The West experienced the largest over-the-year decrease in its employment-population ratio (-1.4 percentage points), followed by the South (-0.8 point), Northeast (-0.7 point), and Midwest (-0.4 point). The Midwest continued to report the highest ratio, 60.3 percent, while the South, at 57.5 percent, maintained the lowest. The South and West posted employment-population ratios that were significantly lower than the national figure of 58.5 percent, and the Midwest recorded a significantly higher ratio (see Bureau of Labor Statistics table 2).

Six of the nine divisions registered statistically significant changes in their employment-population ratios in 2010, all of which were decreases. The Mountain experienced the greatest drop (-1.5 percentage points), followed by the Pacific and South Atlantic (-1.3 and -1.2 points, respectively). In 2010 the East South Central again recorded the lowest proportion of employed persons, 54.7 percent. The next lowest ratios were posted in the Pacific, 57.2 percent, and South Atlantic, 57.3 percent. Ratios in all three of these divisions were significantly below the national average. The divisions with the highest employment-population ratios were the West North Central, 64.4 percent, and New England, 61.7 percent. These two divisions, along with the Mountain, 59.5 percent, and West South Central, 59.4 percent, registered employment population ratios measurably above that of the U.S. The remaining two divisions had ratios that were not significantly different from the national average.

  back to top
  State Employment-Population Ratios
  In 2010, 32 states and the District of Columbia registered statistically significant decreases in their proportions of employed persons, while eighteen states had proportions that were not significantly different from those of a year earlier. Four states reported declines of 2.0 percentage points or more: Colorado (-2.4 points), Utah (-2.3 points), Nevada (-2.2 points), and Delaware (-2.1 points). Twelve other states and the District of Columbia recorded decreases in their employment-population ratios ranging from -1.0 to -1.9 percentage points.

West Virginia again reported the lowest employment-population ratio among the states, 48.8 percent, which it has done for 35 consecutive years. Three states in the West North Central division again posted the highest ratios: North Dakota, 69.8 percent, Nebraska, 67.7 percent, and South Dakota, 67.6 percent. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia recorded employment-population ratios that were significantly above the U.S. ratio of 58.5 percent, and 18 states had ratios that were appreciably below it. The remaining nine states reported ratios that were not measurably different from that of the nation. Nine states registered the lowest employment-population ratios in their series in 2010: California, 56.3 percent; Colorado, 62.8 percent; Delaware, 56.2 percent; Georgia, 57.0 percent; Hawaii, 59.4 percent; Kentucky, 55.6 percent; Nevada, 57.0 percent; North Carolina, 56.1 percent; and South Carolina, 54.5 percent.



  Adapted from Bureau of Labor Statistics, February 25, 2011, Regional and State Unemployment, 2010 Annual Average Summary.
  back to top