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Friday, November 20, 2020
October: Hawaii highest unemployment in USA, 14.3%
By News Release @ 6:17 PM :: 3233 Views :: Economy, Hawaii Statistics, Labor


News Release from BLS, Nov 20, 2020

Unemployment rates were lower in October in 37 states and the District of Columbia, higher in 8 states, and stable in 5 states, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-seven states and the District had jobless rate increases from a year earlier and three states had little or no change. The national unemployment rate declined by 1.0 percentage point over the month to 6.9 percent but was 3.3 points higher than in October 2019.

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 32 states, decreased in 2 states, and was essentially unchanged in 16 states and the District of Columbia in October 2020. Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in 48 states and the District and was essentially unchanged in 2 states.

This news release presents statistics from two monthly programs. The civilian labor force and unemployment data are modeled based largely on a survey of households. These data pertain to individuals by where they reside. The employment data are from an establishment survey that measures nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry. These data pertain to jobs on payrolls defined by where the establishments are located. For more information about the concepts and statistical methodologies used by these two programs, see the Technical Note.


Hawaii had the highest unemployment rate in October, 14.3 percent, followed by Nevada, 12.0 percent. Nebraska and Vermont had the lowest rates, 3.0 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively. In total, 26 states had jobless rates lower than the U.S. figure of 6.9 percent, 9 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 15 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation. (See tables A and 1.)

In October, the largest unemployment rate decreases occurred in Illinois (-3.6 percentage points) and Rhode Island (-3.5 points). Rates declined over the month by at least 2.0 percentage points in an additional six states. The largest over- the-month jobless rate increase occurred in Kentucky (+1.8 percentage points). (See table B.)

Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate increases from October 2019, the largest of which occurred in Hawaii (+11.6 percentage points) and Nevada (+8.3 points). (See table C.)

Nonfarm Payroll Employment

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 32 states, decreased in 2 states, and was essentially unchanged in 16 states and the District of Columbia in October 2020. The largest job gains occurred in California (+145,500), Texas (+118,100), and Florida (+51,600). The largest percentage increases occurred in Alaska (+2.9 percent), Hawaii (+2.0 percent), and Louisiana and Wyoming (+1.2 percent each). Employment decreased in Wisconsin (-14,700, or -0.5 percent) and New Hampshire (-3,700, or -0.6 percent). (See tables D and 3.)

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in 48 states and the District of Columbia and was essentially unchanged in 2 states. The largest job declines occurred in California (-1,369,400), New York (-1,015,500), and Texas (-499,200). The largest percentage declines occurred in Hawaii (-17.3 percent), New York (-10.4 percent), and Vermont (-9.3 percent). (See table E.)

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