Michigan Posted An Unemployment Rate of 15% in July

-- rising unemployment rates --According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a full 16 states posted an unemployment rate of over 10% in July of 2009.

Just one year ago (July 2008), a grand total of zero states had an unemployment rate of over 10%. As a matter of fact, Michigan posted the highest unemployment rate in July of 2008, and it wasn't even close to being near the 10% mark (8.3%).

With a rapidly disintegrating economy and consumers afraid to spend any money, job losses rose drastically over the past 12 months.

The bloodshed was widespread and left few states untouched - only one state (North Dakota) saw their unemployment rate rise less than 1% in the past year (0.9%).

If you had to guess as to which states currently possess the highest unemployment rates, who would you guess?

It should surprise no one that Michigan currently sits at the top of the list with an unemployment rate of 15%. Their rate has skyrocketed 6.7% in the past year due to all of the problems that the automotive industry has been facing. A 15% "official" unemployment rate really makes you wonder what the U-6 rate is in Michigan.. it could very well be close to 30%.

The next highest unemployment rate belongs to Rhode Island, which has seen their jobless rate soar from 7.9% to 12.7% in the past 12 months. A collapse in both the manufacturing and construction sectors helped contribute to Rhode Island's 12.7% unemployment rate in July.

At #3, you have the state of Nevada, which posted an unemployment rate of 12.5% in July.

Nevada has been besieged by problems over the past couple of years. When the economy is not doing well, people tend to travel less to Las Vegas, which translates into fewer jobs for the state. Many casinos have had major financial troubles over the past 12-18 months, which has translated into cutbacks and layoffs. Many half-built projects are sitting dormant due to the decline in the economy and housing market. Available construction work has disappeared as the region suffers through one of the worst real estate downturns on record.

Fourth on the list is California, which managed to post a jobless rate of 11.9% in July.

The problems in California have been well-documented. If California is suffering, then the rest of the country is surely suffering, as California has the largest economy of any state in the union.

California has seen its unemployment rate soar over 4.5% in the past year, and will face many stiff challenges when attempting to bring their rate back down to the 5-6% level.

Oregon comes in at #5, having posted the same rate as California in July (11.9%).

The bad news is that Oregon was tied with California for the fourth highest unemployment rate in July.

The good news is that the 11.9% figure represents a moderate decrease from the 12.2% number that the state posted in June. Oregon had the third highest unemployment rate in June, and is now tied for #4. Sure, it's a small victory, but people are surely glad to see the jobless rate going in the other direction for once.

The other states with unemployment rates of over 10% in July of 2009 were:

Alabama, 10.2%
District of Columbia, 10.6%
Florida, 10.7%
Georgia, 10.3%
Illinois, 10.4%
Indiana, 10.6%
Kentucky, 11.0%
North Carolina, 11.0%
Ohio, 11.2%
South Carolina, 11.8%
Tennessee, 10.7%

Source: BLS.gov - Regional and State Employment and Unemployment: July 2009

Filed under: General Knowledge

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