U.S. March 2021 Unemployment Rates Down in 20 states and stable in 30

April 16, 2021

For the month of March, jobless rates were lower in 20 states and unchanged in 30 states and the District of Columbia based on a report by the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS). Forty states and the District experienced jobless rate increases from last year, 10 states had little or no change. The national unemployment rate was 6.0% over the month, a decline of 0.2 percentage points.

Moreover, “nonfarm payroll employment increased in 29 states and was essentially unchanged in 21 states and the District of Columbia in March 2021. Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in 46 states and the District and was essentially unchanged in 4 states,” as stated by the BLS.

Unemployment rates

Notably, Hawaii and New York exhibited the highest jobless rate of 9.0% and 8.5%, respectively in March. Whereas the rates in Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah, and Vermont had the lowest rates, 2.9% each. In total, 27 states experienced unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 6.0%, 11 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 12 states experienced unemployment rates that were not noticeably different from that of the nation.

For March, North Carolina had the largest over-the-month unemployment rate decrease by 0.5 percentage point, followed by New York and North Dakota (-0.4 point each). Thirty states had jobless rates that were not notably different from those of a month earlier, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes.

The largest unemployment rate increase from March 2020 was observed in Hawaii (+6.9 percentage points). The next largest over-the-year rate increases were recorded in New York (+4.6 percentage points) and Connecticut (+4.5 points) with an additional five states experiencing rate increases of at least 3.0 points.

Nonfarm Payroll Employment

In March 2021, nonfarm payroll jobs rose in 29 states while remaining stable in 21 states and the District of Columbia. California (+119,600), Texas (+99,000), and New York (+63,700) had the most employment growth. The highest percentage changes occurred in New Mexico (+1.3%), Oregon (+1.1%), and Hawaii, Iowa, and Oklahoma (+1.0%).

Nonfarm payroll jobs declined in 46 states and the District of Columbia throughout the year and remained largely stable in four states. California (-1,350,500), New York (-880,800), and Florida experienced the greatest job losses (-445,800). Hawaii (-16.0%), Nevada (-9.4%), and New York saw the greatest percentage declines (-9.1%).


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