Unemployment Across the States: Looking Back at August 2021

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has just released its monthly findings for state-by-state unemployment. Here’s the highlight reel:

The average unemployment rate among the states continues its downward trend at 4.94%. This amount is down from 5.07% in July, 5.21% in June and 5.24% in May of this year. This is thanks to 26 states ending bonus unemployment insurance payments over the course of this summer.

  • States with lowest unemployment:
    • Nebraska at 2.2% (down from 2.3% last month)
    • Utah at 2.6%
    • Idaho (down from 3% last month) and South Dakota tied at 2.9%
    • New Hampshire at 3% (up from 2.9% last month)
  • States with highest unemployment
    • Nevada at 7.7%
    • California at 7.5%
    • New York at 7.4%
    • Connecticut, New Mexico, and New Jersey tied at 7.2%

The top five states with the lowest unemployment have all ended bonus unemployment payments while the bottom six states with the highest unemployment continued paying bonus unemployment payments until the federal program expired September 4th.

A recent survey found that 1.8 million Americans have turned down jobs due to unemployment payments. As stated by economists Stephen Moore and Casey Mulligan, these bonus unemployment payments contributed to the massive labor shortages over the past year.