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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

U.S. Unemployment at a Four Year Low - Rates by State

Unemployment Rates

The U.S. unemployment rate fell last month (July 2013) to a 4.5 year low of 7.4%, down from 7.6% in June. 

Why does this matter to small businesses? There are over 6 million small businesses in the U.S. (with less than 200 employees). These small businesses make up 82% of all US employers. Unemployment rates impact a small business's ability to recruit and retain employees, and unemployment rates are an indicator of the overall health of the US economy.

For example, as the economy recovers small businesses may be booming. But, it may be harder to keep key managers from being head-hunted by larger firms.

Here are the current unemployment rates by states (as of July 2013), with how they compare to historical highs and lows. 

Where does your state fall?

Current Unemployment Rates for States and Historical Highs/Lows
Seasonally Adjusted
 July 2013Historical HighHistorical Low
StateRateDateRateDateRate
Alabama 6.3 Dec. 1982 14.3 Apr. 2007 3.2
Alaska 6.3 June 1986 11.5 May 2013 5.9
Arizona 8.0 Jan. 1983 11.6 July 2007 3.5
Arkansas 7.4 July 1983 10.1 Nov. 2000 4.0
California 8.7 Oct. 2010 12.4 Jan. 2001 4.7
Colorado 7.1 Nov. 2010 9.1 Jan. 2001 2.6
Connecticut 8.1 Dec. 2010 9.4 Oct. 2000 2.1
Delaware 7.4 Dec. 1976 9.3 Feb. 1989 2.8
District of Columbia 8.6 Feb. 1983 11.6 May 1989 4.8
Florida 7.1 Mar. 2010 11.4 Aug. 2006 3.3
Georgia 8.8 Jan. 2010 10.4 Dec. 2000 3.3
Hawaii 4.5 Jan. 1976 9.9 Dec. 2006 2.3
Idaho 6.6 Feb. 1983 9.6 Mar. 2007 2.7
Illinois 9.2 Feb. 1983 12.9 Feb. 1999 4.2
Indiana 8.4 Jan. 1983 12.7 Apr. 1999 2.6
Iowa 4.8 Mar. 1983 8.6 Oct. 1999 2.5
Kansas 5.9 Aug. 2009 7.5 Apr. 1979 3.0
Kentucky 8.5 Jan. 1983 12.0 June 2000 4.1
Louisiana 7.0 Nov. 1986 12.8 July 2006 3.6
Maine 6.9 Jan. 1977 9.0 Jan. 2001 3.1
Maryland 7.1 Nov. 1982 8.4 Feb. 2008 3.3
Massachusetts 7.2 Jan. 1976 11.1 Oct. 2000 2.6
Michigan 8.8 Dec. 1982 16.8 Mar. 2000 3.3
Minnesota 5.2 Dec. 1982 9.1 Mar. 1999 2.5
Mississippi 8.5 Apr. 1983 13.5 Apr. 2001 4.9
Missouri 7.1 Feb. 1983 10.6 Jan. 2000 2.8
Montana 5.3 Mar. 1983 8.8 Dec. 2006 3.1
Nebraska 4.2 Feb. 1983 6.7 Feb. 1998 2.2
Nevada 9.5 Oct. 2010 14.0 Apr. 2000 3.8
New Hampshire 5.1 Sept. 1992 7.6 May 1987 2.1
New Jersey 8.6 Dec. 1976 10.7 July 2000 3.6
New Mexico 6.9 Mar. 1983 10.0 June 2007 3.4
New York 7.5 Nov. 1976 10.3 Apr. 1988 4.0
North Carolina 8.9 Feb. 2010 11.3 Mar. 1999 3.1
North Dakota 3.0 Feb. 1983 6.8 July 2001 2.6
Ohio 7.2 Jan. 1983 13.9 Jan. 2001 3.8
Oklahoma 5.3 June 1983 9.2 Dec. 2000 2.8
Oregon 8.0 Jan. 1983 12.1 Feb. 1995 4.7
Pennsylvania 7.5 Mar. 1983 12.9 Mar. 2000 4.0
Rhode Island 8.9 Feb. 2010 11.9 July 1988 2.9
South Carolina 8.1 Jan. 2010 11.9 Mar. 1998 3.2
South Dakota 3.9 Feb. 1983 6.0 Mar. 2000 2.5
Tennessee 8.5 Jan. 1983 12.8 May 2000 3.9
Texas 6.5 Nov. 1986 9.3 Jan. 2001 4.2
Utah 4.6 Mar. 1983 10.0 Mar. 2007 2.4
Vermont 4.6 Jan. 1976 8.8 Apr. 2000 2.4
Virginia 5.7 Jan. 1983 7.8 Dec. 2000 2.2
Washington 6.9 Nov. 1982 12.2 May 2007 4.4
West Virginia 6.2 Mar. 1983 18.1 Mar. 2008 3.9
Wisconsin 6.8 Jan. 1983 11.5 Feb. 2000 3.0
Wyoming 4.6 Jan. 1987 9.1 Apr. 1979 2.3
Employer Health Insurance Facts and Figures

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