Some states are experiencing their lowest unemployment rates in their histories
Seven years after hitting the depths of the worst recession in modern history, the rebounding economy is sending unemployment rates to record lows in a handful of states across the nation.
California’s unemployment rate is down to 4.7 percent, the lowest rate since the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) began measuring state economic conditions in 1976.
Colorado’s unemployment rate has hit a new low, at 2.3 percent. In Arkansas, the 3.4 percent rate is a record. The phenomenon is bipartisan, and bicoastal: Republican states like Mississippi (4.9 percent) and North Dakota (2.5 percent) notched new lows. So did the Democratic bastions of Oregon (3.6 percent) and Washington (4.5 percent).
Nationally, the unemployment rate stands at 4.3 percent, down half a percentage point since January.
In states, the rate ranges from highs of 6.7 percent in Alaska and 6.6 percent in New Mexico to Colorado’s low of 2.3 percent.
The movement in Wyoming and West Virginia is significant, too, because it represents a reversal from rising unemployment rates caused by low energy prices. Both states experienced higher unemployment rates as coal and oil prices tumbled, even while the rest of the country recovered.
Other energy-rich states like North Dakota and Oklahoma have also seen rebounding employment figures in recent months.