State unemployment numbers mask correct unemployment rate
State unemployment numbers mask correct unemployment rate as they do not adjust for the number of individuals who have dropped out of the labor market.
In May 2016 there were 8 states with an unemployment rate of over 6% versus 7 in February 2016 with over 6% Unemployment. Alabama and Illinois have unemployment go up in the past 12 months as opposed to the other 4 states where unemployment levels have improved.
South Dakota and New Hampshire had the lowest jobless rates in May, 2.5 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively. The rate in Arkansas (3.8 percent) set a new series low. Alaska had the highest unemployment rate, 6.7 percent. In total, 16 states had unemployment rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 4.7 percent, 15 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 19 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.