The December 2018 unemployment rates were lower in 14 states and were unchanged in 36 states and the District of Colombia. Currently the national unemployment rate is 3.9 percent, which is a 0.2 percent drop over the past year. The state that showed the largest decline in the jobless rate was New Mexico which fell by 1.3 percentage points with five other states showing a decline of 0.9 percentage points: Alaska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Georgia. In December Iowa showed the lowest unemployment rate which was 2.4 percent. Alaska had the highest jobless rate which was 6.3 percent. There were 16 states with unemployment rates that were lower than the US figure of 3.9 percent, while there were 8 states with averages higher than the national average. There were 26 states with rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.
The US economy is slowing but the number of employed workers is still near all time highs. Hispanic unemployment is now at 4.4 percent (near all-time lows) while African American unemployment is at 5.9 percent, the lowest since statistics were recording.
In one final note, the number of people requesting government assistance for weekly claims fell below 200,000 for the first time since November 15, 1969. With a release of 199,000 far fewer people are going to the US government and asking for unemployment pay. This figure suggests that people are employed and rely on their jobs and not the government.