Oct. Unemployment Rate Spikes in 33 States

November 21, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The data behind October?s jobless figures, which saw the US unemployment rate skyrocketing to 5.4%, shows an increase in joblessness in 33 states, according to data from the Department of Labor.

The unemployment rate was highest in Washington following a mass layoff action by Boeing Co ? which, along with the troubled airline sector, is struggling to turn a profit. In Washington, the unemployment rate rose to 6.6% in October, up from 6.1% the previous month.

Though few states have managed to escape an economic slump that saw gross domestic product contract by 0.4% the previous quarter, states dependent on tourism presented a particularly bleak unemployment picture, specifically:

  • Nevada, where the jobless rate reached 6.3% from 4.8% the previous month, and
  • Hawaii, where unemployment increased to 5.3% from 4.4%

The current economic contraction has also taken a high toll on:

  • Oregon, where the unemployment rate increased to 6.5% and
  • Washington DC, where joblessness was at 6.3%

The state with the lowest unemployment rate in the country was North Dakota at 2%, up from 1.7% the previous month, followed by Delaware and Nebraska, both at 3%.