In 2013, as evidenced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Regional and State Unemployment — 2013 Annual Averages” report, the unemployment rate decreased in 43 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia. It rose in only 2 states, and remained unchanged in 5 states. On average, the national rate fell 0.7 percent from the previous year, with December 2013 seeing the largest year-to-year rate drop of 1.2 percent. By the end of 2013, the national unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent — the lowest since October 2008 — and in January 2014, the rate inched down to 6.6 percent.
All four U.S. regions saw remarkable decreases in their unemployment rates, with the West having the largest drop of 1.2 percentage points. While the West had the largest decrease, it still was well above the national rate, at 8.0 percent. Conversely, the South region had the only unemployment rate significantly below the national average, at 7.0 percent.
Zooming into the 9 geographic divisions, 6 of them had notable year-to-year unemployment rate decreases. The largest decrease occurred in the Pacific — which dropped 1.4 percent, and the South Atlantic — which fell 1.0 percent. Just like its parent region the Pacific had the largest percentage drop, but unfortunately retained the highest national unemployment rate of 8.4 percent — an unwanted title it has owned for the sixth year in a row.
Read more »