Eight states, including California, hit record lows for unemployment in March.
That brings the number of states setting marks for low unemployment rates to 14 in the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The BLS has compiled employment figures for individual states since 1976.
“The states hitting new unemployment lows run the ideological gamut, from conservative Texas to liberal California, suggesting a recovery stronger (from the Great Recession) than any particular political persuasion,” analyzed TheHill.com.
California in March matched its record low of 4.3 percent unemployment first set in February. That is about one-third of the 12.3 percent unemployment rate the Golden State experienced at the recession’s height in 2010.
The seven other states achieving record-low unemployment in March were Hawaii (2.1 percent), Maine (2.7 percent), Idaho (2.9 percent), Wisconsin (2.9 percent), Kentucky (4 percent), Oregon (4.1 percent) and Mississippi (4.5 percent).
Hawaii Has Lowest Unemployment Rate, Alaska the Highest
Hawaii’s unemployment rate is the lowest in the nation, BLS said. Joining the Aloha State with unemployment below 3% are Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
The state with the highest unemployment rate is Alaska at 7.3%. The state, which fared better than many others during the recession, traditionally has an unemployment rate above the national average. Alaska set its record low of 6.3 percent unemployment in June 2007.
Fresno County Unemployment Rate Rises to 9.1%
Closer to home, Fresno County’s unemployment rate crept up to 9.1 percent in February after being 8.7% in January. However, the February rate represents a significant improvement from 12 months earlier. The February 2017 unemployment rate was 10.5%.
Because of Fresno County’s economic reliance on agriculture, peak employment traditionally is in the early fall. Reflecting that, the Fresno County unemployment rate dipped to 6.8 percent in September 2017 before beginning a gradual rise.
Note: County-by-county unemployment figures from BLS lag the state-by-state compilations by one month.
The chart graphic has been updated to accurately reflect unemployment numbers published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics