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By Stephen Pederson

California Dreaming: A Nightmare of Unemployment

Unemployment in the USA: California the Worst State for the Working Man

In March 2013, the unemployment rate by state was released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  It is not a pretty picture.  The average rate of unemployment is 7.7% for the country.   But the worst state of them all for unemployment is California at 9.8%.  Home to more than 38 million inhabitants, California is America’s most populated state with second runner up, Texas, having only 26 million inhabitants.  But the state which was once an economic powerhouse has become an economic nightmare with one in ten willing workers shut out of the labor market.

A map showing unemployment rates by each U.S. state - Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, issued March 2013

Unemployment Rate by State – Courtesy of


Corporate Tax Rate by State

A map of state corporate tax rates for the United States.

State Corporate Income Tax Rates for the Entire USA –

The State corporate tax rates for each state is provided in the image above. Though the relationship between corporate taxes and unemployment rates is a complex one, business investment and employment are directly related … and no one can suggest that corporate tax rates do not have influence on levels of investment.

Unemployment Rate and Corporate Tax Rate by State

The following table shows a state by state breakdown of unemployment rate and state corporate taxes, combined for comparison purposes. In addition, the historical highs and lows for state unemployment are also provided for reference.

See the following table to compare each American state’s unemployment and corporate tax rate.

US Unemployment and Corporate Tax Rates by State

Unemployment Rate - January 2013
Historical High Unemployment Rate Date
Historical High Unemployment Rate
Historical Low Unemployment Rate Date
Historical Low Unemployment Rate
Current State Corporate Tax Rate
Alabama6.9Dec. 198214.3Apr. 20073.26.500
Alaska6.7Jun.198611.5Apr. 20075.99.400
Arizona8Jan. 198311.6Jul.20073.56.968
Arkansas7.2Jul.198310.1Nov. 20004.06.500
California9.8Oct. 201012.4Jan. 20014.78.840
Colorado7.3Nov. 20109.1Jan. 20012.64.630
Connecticut8.1Dec. 20109.4Oct. 20002.19.000
Delaware7.2Dec. 19769.3Feb. 19892.88.700
District of Columbia8.6Feb. 198311.6May.19894.86.000
Florida7.8Mar. 201011.4Aug. 20063.35.500
Georgia8.7Jan. 201010.4Dec. 20003.36.000
Hawaii5.2Jan. 19769.9Dec. 20062.36.400
Idaho6.3Feb. 19839.6Mar. 20072.77.400
Illinois9.0Feb. 198312.9Feb. 19994.29.500
Indiana8.6Jan. 198312.7Apr. 19992.68.000
Iowa5.0Mar. 19838.6Oct. 19992.512.000
Kansas5.5Aug. 20097.5Apr. 19793.07.000
Kentucky7.9Jan. 198312Jun.20004.16.000
Louisiana5.9Nov. 198612.8Jul.20063.68.000
Maine7.3Jan. 19779.0Jan. 20013.18.000
Maryland6.7Nov. 19828.4Feb. 20083.38.250
Massachusetts6.7Jan. 197611.1Oct. 20002.68.000
Michigan8.9Dec. 198216.8Mar. 20003.36.000
Minnesota5.6Dec. 19829.1Mar. 19992.59.800
Mississippi9.3Apr. 198313.5Apr. 20014.95.000
Missouri6.5Feb. 198310.6Jan. 20002.86.250
Montana5.7Mar. 19838.8Dec. 20063.16.750
Nebraska3.8Feb. 19836.7Feb. 19982.27.810
Nevada9.7Oct. 201014Apr. 20003.80.000
New Hampshire5.8Sept. 19927.6May.19872.18.500
New Jersey9.5Dec. 197610.7Jul.20003.69.000
New Mexico6.6Mar. 198310Jun.20073.47.600
New York8.4Nov. 197610.3Apr. 19884.07.100
North Carolina9.5Feb. 201011.3Mar. 19993.16.900
North Dakota3.3Feb. 19836.8Jul.20012.65.150
Ohio7.0Jan. 198313.9Jan. 20013.8Gross Receipts
Oklahoma5.1Jun.19839.2Dec. 20002.86.000
Oregon8.4Jan. 198312.1Feb. 19954.77.600
Pennsylvania8.2Mar. 198312.9Mar. 20004.09.990
Rhode Island9.8Feb. 201011.9Jul.19882.99.000
South Carolina8.7Jan. 201011.9Mar. 19983.25.000
South Dakota4.4Feb. 19836.0Mar. 20002.50.000
Tennessee7.7Jan. 198312.8May.20003.96.500
Texas6.3Nov. 19869.3Jan. 20014.2Gross Receipts
Utah5.4Mar. 198310Mar. 20072.45.000
Vermont4.7Jan. 19768.8Apr. 20002.48.500
Virginia5.6Jan. 19837.8Dec. 20002.26.000
Washington7.5Nov. 198212.2Mau.20074.4Gross Receipts
West Virginia7.4Mar. 198318.1Mar. 20083.97.000
Wisconsin7.0Jan. 198311.5Feb. 20003.07.900
Wyoming4.9Jan. 19879.1Apr. 19792.30.000
Table A: State Unemployment and Corporate Tax Rate - January 2013
Click on the table headers to sort by column, as required.

For further reading:

Update – California has a negative net worth of $127 Billion:

Update – Report from California’s State Auditor:

LA Times – State Jobless Rates:,0,2667538.story

Bureau of Labor Statistics – Unemployment Rates:
Wikipedia – Unemployment Rates by State, USA:

Images courtesy of and

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