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A Decade of Unemployment

A look at American unemployment rates by state, 2000-2009.
10 years of unemployment

A look at American unemployment rates by state from 2000-2009 reveals a decade of steady unemployment rates that ended with a sharp rise in unemployment. As with most financial crises, the recession of the decade greatly affected unemployment rates.

The unemployment rate is the number of people that have been determined as being without employment and who have actively tried to find employment within the last four weeks. It does not include people who are jobless and have stopped looking or who did not look within that four-week period.

In 2000, the national unemployment rate was 4.0 percent. Twenty-two states had unemployment rates of between 1 percent and 3.9 percent. Twenty-eight states had unemployment rates between 4 percent and 6.9 percent.

In 2005, the national unemployment rate was 5.1 percent. Ten states had unemployment rates of between 1 percent and 3.9 percent. Thirty-eight states had unemployment rates of between 4 percent and 6.9 percent. Two states had unemployment rates between 7 percent and 9.9 percent.

In 2009, the national unemployment rate was 9.3 percent. Zero states had unemployment rates of between 1 percent and 3.9 percent. Thirteen states had unemployment rates of between 4 percent and 6.9 percent. Twenty-two states had unemployment rates between 7 percent and 9.9 percent. Thirteen states had unemployment rates between 10 percent and 12.9 percent. Three states had unemployment rates of 13 percent and higher.

The National Average Unemployment Rate

The national average unemployment rate from 2000 to 2009 stayed relatively steady until it changed sharply when the economic recession began in late 2007. Until that time, the national unemployment rate had varied by less than 2 percent throughout the decade.

In 2000, the national average unemployment rate was 4 percent. In 2001, the national average unemployment rate was 4.7 percent. In 2002, the national average unemployment rate was 5.8 percent. In 2003, the national average unemployment rate was 6 percent. In 2004, the national average unemployment rate was 5.5 percent. In 2005, the national average unemployment rate was 5.1 percent. In 2006, the national average unemployment rate was 4.6 percent. In 2007, the national average unemployment rate was 4.6 percent. In 2008, the national average unemployment rate was 5.8 percent. In 2009, the national average unemployment rate was 9.3 percent.