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New Jersey has experienced the steepest increase in its unemployment rate of any state in the nation during the past 12 months, according to comparative data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

In all, 12 states and the District of Columbia have had significant increases in unemployment rates since October 2022. New Jersey’s unemployment rate, now at 4.6%, has risen 1.3 percentage points from its 3.3% unemployment rate a year prior. The next highest year-over-year increases were in the District of Columbia (+0.8) and California (+0.7). 

Twenty-one states had year-over-the-year declines in their unemployment rates, the largest of which was Maryland (-1.5 percentage points). Other states experiencing statistically significant year-over-year declines were Oregon (-1.2), Vermont (-1.1), Massachusetts (-1.0), Pennsylvania (-1.0) and Wyoming (-1.0). 

Seventeen states had jobless rates that were not notably different from those of a year earlier. 

The nationwide unemployment rate for October was 3.9%, the BLS said. States where the unemployment rate significantly exceeded the national average in October included: Nevada (5.4%) the District of Columbia (5.0%), California (4.8%), Illinois (4.6%), New Jersey (4.6%). 

There are 26 states where the unemployment rate is lower than the national average, most significantly in Maryland (1.7%), North Dakota (1.9%) South Dakota (2.0%) and Vermont (2.0%). 

For more details on the BLS analysis, go here.