Friday, October 22, 2010

Jobless Rates Remain Elevated

I like this version of the story because it gives a detailed rate by state of the unemployment numbers, as well as a cool interactive graphic where you can look state by state and compare the numbers (all numbers and sources are via Labor Dept). Unemployment still remains high, especially here in California and I am still unemployed as well (not from a lack of trying. That's one reason why I don't update this blog as much as I used to - Still trying to hit the market hard). The Federal numbers have stayed the same and California's rate is at 12.4%. It sucks right now.

WSJ Online: Unemployment rates were little changed in most states in September, as a recovery in the labor market remained sluggish across the country.

The Labor Department reported that 23 states and Washington DC experienced jobless-rate decreases, while the rate rose in 11 regions and was unchanged in 16.

States hardest-hit by the housing bust, such as Florida and California, continue to struggle with double-digit unemployment rates. Nevada remained the state with the highest unemployment rate in the nation — 14.4% — more than percentage point higher than the 13% recorded in second-place Michigan. In all, 15 states had rates above the 9.6% national figure released earlier this month.

North and South Dakota continued to have the lowest rates in the country, at 3.7% and 4.4%, respectively.

Despite the improvements in jobless rates, 34 states reported a decrease in the number of people employed, with 14 of those regarded as statistically significant. Just New Mexico, New Hampshire and Washington DC posted statistically significant increases in employment from August.

Amid concerns that the labor market stagnated over the summer, 21 states still have higher or equal unemployment rates this September compared to a year ago.

Republicans pointed to the state unemployment figures as evidence that the stimulus package backed by the Obama administration has failed. The data show the number of people employed has dropped in 48 of 50 states since February 2009 when the stimulus was passed. Administration officials have argued that the decline in the number of jobs would have been worse in the absence of stimulus.

More on WSJ Online

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