Unemployment by State

By Ellie Fields April 7, 2009

The current business cycle arguably began after the last recession, in ’01-’02. Here we take a look at how unemployment by state changed over the last 8 years, from the peak of the stock market in ’00, through the trough, and back up to the ’08 peak again.

Most of the states started at healthy unemployment figures in ’00. Notable exceptions in the contiguous US were Mississippi, West Virginia, and DC. Of those, only West Virginia was able to bring its unemployment rate down over the eight-year period.

Click on any state to see its trend in unemployment over the last business cycle:

In ’01 unemployment started to break out in the West and the South. In ’02-’03, unemployment crept up on the coasts, with the upper Midwest still mostly employed. By ’04 unemployment started to recede in most of the country, and the boom peaked in '05 and '06. Notable exceptions were Michigan (high oil prices haven’t been kind to Detroit), areas of the South, and California.

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Source data: US Bureau of Labor and Statistics

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