Unemployment rates higher in 28 states over the year ended February 2024

From February 2023 to February 2024, unemployment rates increased in 28 states, decreased in 3 states, and changed little in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Rhode Island had the largest over-the-year unemployment rate increase (+1.1 percentage points) while Massachusetts had the largest over-the-year decrease (−0.7 percentage points).

North Dakota had the lowest jobless rate in February, at 2.0 percent. The next lowest rate was in South Dakota, at 2.1 percent. California had the highest unemployment rate, 5.3 percent, closely followed by Nevada, 5.2 percent. In total, 22 states had unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 3.9 percent, 6 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 22 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 — February 2024.” We also have more charts and maps of state employment and unemployment data.