Dec. 22 (UPI) — Unemployment rates in 13 states hit their lowest points in 40 years this year, data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed.
The statistics say Alabama, California, Hawaii, Mississippi and Texas had their lowest unemployment rates since the bureau began tracking state-by-state rates in 1976.
Previously released data showed that Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, North Dakota, Oregon and Tennessee also set records in 2017. Washington state tied its previous low unemployment rate.
Friday’s figures show that 23 states had jobless rate decreases from the same period in 2016.
The figures come seven years after a severe recession and show that conservative states like Alabama and Mississippi, as well as more liberal Washington and California, are sharing the improvements.
The national unemployment rate has gradually declined since 2010 and now stands at 4.1 percent.
The BLS statistics show that Hawaii is the state with the lowest unemployment rate, at 2 percent — followed by North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Colorado. The highest unemployment rate, 7.2 percent, is found in Alaska.
An accounting of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ rate was unavailable, the BLS said, because of two hurricanes which struck the area three months ago.