The Washington Post

Unemployment dips to post-recession lows in 29 states


Job seekers meet with recruiters at a job fair. (Justin Sullivan/Getty.)

In more than half the states in the nation, unemployment last month reached its lowest point since the recession officially ended 4.5 years ago.

December marked the lowest post-recession rate in 29 states, with Missouri, South Carolina and Florida returning to levels — 5.9 percent, 6.6 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively — not seen since the summer of 2008. Unemployment in the states for which December marked a post-recession record ranged from 3.6 percent in Nebraska to 8.8 percent in Nevada, which was especially hard-hit by the downturn.

The recession officially ended in July 2009, though significant concerns remain. Long-term unemployment is historically high, and some economists believe many part-time workers would be working full-time if they could find such work. Some also worry that the unemployment rate is artificially low as would-be workers abandon the job search altogether, disqualifying them from the count.

State Last time unemployment was this low December 2013 rate
Connecticut 03/2009 7.40
Mississippi 02/2009 8.00
New York 02/2009 7.10
Pennsylvania 02/2009 6.90
West Virginia 02/2009 5.90
Colorado 01/2009 6.20
Texas 01/2009 6.00
Iowa 01/2009 4.20
Maryland 01/2009 6.10
New Jersey 01/2009 7.30
Delaware 12/2008 6.20
Nevada 12/2008 8.80
Wisconsin 12/2008 6.20
Utah 12/2008 4.10
Kansas 12/2008 4.90
Washington 12/2008 6.60
Indiana 11/2008 6.90
Maine 11/2008 6.20
Georgia 11/2008 7.40
Nebraska 11/2008 3.60
Idaho 11/2008 5.70
Arizona 11/2008 7.60
California 11/2008 8.30
Alabama 11/2008 6.10
North Carolina 10/2008 6.90
Oregon 09/2008 7.00
Florida 07/2008 6.20
South Carolina 07/2008 6.60
Missouri 07/2008 5.90
Niraj Chokshi is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post.

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