Unemployment Capitals - Lensa Insights

Unemployment Capitals


Unemployment Capitals

Which States Have the Highest Unemployment Rate?

Unemployment can be difficult for many of us, causing stress, anxiety, and financial strain when we find ourselves between jobs. Although it can also allow you to take stock of your options and goals, identify your transferable skills, and make finding work hassle-free and easy.  

But in which state are you most likely to be out of work in the future? We’ve analyzed the unemployment figures of each state from the last ten years to predict the places most likely to have the highest number of people out of work over the next five years. 

The States With the Highest Predicted Unemployment Rate in 2027


2027 Unemployment Rate: 7.7%

Taking the top spot as the state with the highest projected unemployment rate is Hawaii at an estimated 7.7% in 2027 if current trends continue. With tourism being such a big part of its economy, unemployment rates in Hawaii are higher than the national average thanks to job losses in the quieter months. 

2.New York

2027 Unemployment Rate: 7.5%

The State of New York is up next, with predicted unemployment rising by 1.6% from 2021 to 2027 if current trends continue. The state is dependent on the link between office industries and the service and hospitality sector and with more employees choosing to work from home, the sector is suffering, causing job losses.

3.New Mexico

  2027 Unemployment Rate: 7.0%

New Mexico takes third place, with a predicted unemployment rate of 7% in 2027. The state had one of the highest unemployment rates in the country in 2021, and its unemployment rate has grown by an average of 0.38% over the last ten years, so it isn’t surprising to find ranking so highly. Added to this, New Mexico fails to attract big businesses, leading to slower economic recoveries and a higher rate of unemployment.  

The States With the Lowest Predicted Unemployment Rate in 2027


2027 Unemployment Rate: 1.4%

The state of Utah has the lowest predicted unemployment rate, which has been decreasing steadily over the last ten years, falling by an average of nearly 10% annually. This steady decrease in unemployment could be the result of the rapid expansion of Utah’s labor force against a slower increase in job creation. 

2. Alabama and Nebraska

2027 Unemployment Rate: 1.8%

Sharing second place are Alabama and Nebraska, both with a predicted unemployment rate of just under 2%. Alabama has seen the biggest average annual change in unemployment rates, with it falling by an average of nearly 10.2% each year. However, this could cause trouble for businesses in the Cotton State, as they struggle to fill positions due to this shortage.   

Like Alabama, unemployment in Nebraska has also generally decreased over the past ten years, dropping by 1.67% between 2011 and 2021, although figures did increase in 2016 and 2019. Following this trend unemployment rates are expected to drop to 1.8% in 2027.  Historically, unemployment in Nebraska has been low thanks to the high number of essential jobs in industries such as agriculture and a lower population creating less competition for jobs.   


2027 Unemployment Rate: 2.0%

Taking third place, Kansas is predicted to have an unemployment rate of 2% by 2027. The state’s unemployment figures have halved since 2011 and if this trend continues will  

drop by a further 1.2% over the next five years. The Sunflower State has experienced a recent drop in labor participation with workers moving away from working multiple part-time jobs in the hospitality and service sectors to a single full-time job. 

How to Find the Perfect Job After Unemployment

Finding a job can feel like a Herculean task. Spending all that time and effort looking for jobs can get more and more frustrating as time goes on, although there are some easy ways to improve your job search, taking the pressure of finding your dream job. So, whether you’ve been out of work for a while or just been let go, here are some tips to get you back into the workplace.  

One tip if you’re looking for work is to tap into the hidden job market. This is the idea that companies have open positions but don’t post them, or someone is hired through a contact, rather than posting the job on their website. If you want to access the hidden job market, networking is essential. By reaching out and building relationships with people in your chosen field, you’ll create more career opportunities and receive plenty of advice and guidance.

Struggling to get to the interview stage? Take another look at your resume and cover letter, or better still ask an expert such as a career coach or human resources manager. Most large companies use applicant tracking systems to review job applications, so if you’re receiving automated rejection emails quickly after applying, the software rules you out as a candidate. 

If you’re getting to the first round of interviews but being dropped shortly after, consider focusing on improving your soft skills. These are transferable skills that demonstrate how well you work with others and include communication, teamwork, and critical thinking to name a few. Although these skills are more difficult to learn than hard skills, some job training programs do focus on soft skills and there are plenty of online courses to help you improve. 


We wanted to find out which states would have the highest unemployment figures in the year 2027. To do this we gathered the average annual unemployment rates for each state from 2011 to 2021. 

From this, we calculated the average change in unemployment rates in each state and applied this to the 2021 figures to estimate the unemployment rate if the trends continued on their current trajectory.  

Figures for the years 2011 to 2017 were taken from The National Conference of State Legislatures. Figures from 2018 to 2021 were taken from The US Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

The year 2020 was excluded from the data due to the mass unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic skewing the data. 
Tips on finding a job after unemployment were taken from Lensa Insights.

Lensa Insights
Lensa Insights
Work is changing faster than an angry retrovirus. For jobseekers, that means one thing: adapt or die! Lensa Insights is your survival guide, offering actionable career tips to keep your future in focus.

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