States with the lowest unemployment rate in 2022

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The pandemic has thrown the economy and workforce into a massive loop over the past two years. Fortunately, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), December 2021 unemployment rates are down in 42 states, while salaried jobs are up in 17 states. However, while most states have seen improvement in their employment statistics, many states are far behind the others when it comes to their unemployment rates.

Which states have the lowest unemployment rate?

There are two ways to answer this question. One is based on the December 2021 unemployment rate. The second is based on the average annual unemployment rate for all of 2021. Under both measures, the state with the lowest unemployment rate is currently Nebraska. Nebraska’s unemployment rate in December 2021 was 1.7%, with an average annual unemployment rate of 2.4% for 2021.

Unemployment in Nebraska has been known to be low for a long time. Based on BLS data going back to January 1976, the average unemployment rate in Nebraska from 1976 to 2021 is 3.5%. Unemployment in Nebraska hit an all-time high during the pandemic, peaking at 7.4% in April 2020. However, that’s far better than most other states in the country.

States with the lowest unemployment rate in 2022

Here’s a look at the states with the lowest unemployment rates based on annual averages for 2021. Nebraska takes the top spot as the state with the lowest unemployment rate at 2.4%. Below are the 10 states with the lowest unemployment rates based on 2021 annual averages:

  • Nebraska unemployment rate: 2.4%
  • Utah unemployment rate: 2.6%
  • South Dakota unemployment rate: 2.9%
  • Vermont unemployment rate: 2.9%
  • Idaho unemployment rate: 3.0%
  • New Hampshire unemployment rate: 3.0%
  • Alabama unemployment rate: 3.4%
  • Montana unemployment rate: 3.5%
  • Oklahoma unemployment rate: 3.5%
  • Wisconsin unemployment rate: 3.6%

Looking at the states with the lowest unemployment rates according to their December 2021 reported unemployment numbers, the list is similar, but with a few differences:

  • Nebraska unemployment rate: 1.7%
  • Utah unemployment rate: 1.9%
  • Oklahoma unemployment rate: 2.3%
  • Idaho unemployment rate: 2.4%
  • Vermont unemployment rate: 2.5%
  • Montana unemployment rate: 2.5%
  • South Dakota unemployment rate: 2.6%
  • New Hampshire unemployment rate: 2.6%
  • Unemployment rate in Georgia: 2.6%
  • Indiana unemployment rate: 2.7%

Nebraska remains the state with the lowest unemployment rate, but Georgia and Indiana are notably on this list. Unemployment in Georgia in December 2021 was better than its unemployment rate in December 2019, before the start of the pandemic, when it stood at 3.3%. Indiana’s unemployment in December 2021 was also better than its unemployment rate in December 2019, when it was 3.1%. This trend is also reflected in Nebraska’s unemployment rate, with a rate of 1.7% in December 2021 compared to a rate of 2.9% in December 2019. Utah also saw a drop in the unemployment rate in December 2021 compared to December 2019, when it was 2.4%.

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