Michigan unemployment tops 15%

Government says jobless rate is the highest for a state since 1984. Rate tops 10% in 15 states and District of Columbia.

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By Ben Rooney, CNNMoney.com staff writer

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Michigan became the first state in 25 years to suffer an unemployment rate exceeding 15%, according to a report released Friday by the Labor Department.

The state's unemployment rate rose to 15.2% in June. It was the highest of any state since March 1984, when West Virginia's unemployment rate exceeded 15%.

Michigan, which has been battered by the collapse of the auto industry and the housing crisis, has had the highest unemployment rate in the nation for 12 months in a row.

Rhode Island had the second highest unemployment rate at 12.4%, followed by Oregon at 12.2%.

A total of 15 states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rates of at least 10%.

Friday's report from the U.S. Labor Department also showed that six states recorded record-high unemployment rates in June.

Over the month, jobless rates increased in 38 states and the District of Columbia. Michigan's 1.1 percentage point increase from May to June was the highest in the nation, followed by Wyoming's 0.9 point increase.

On an annual basis, jobless rates where higher in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Michigan also recorded the highest yearly increase at 7.1 percentage points. Oregon came in second with a year-over-year increase of 6.3 percentage points in its unemployment rate.

The national unemployment rate rose for the ninth straight month in June, climbing to 9.5% from 9.4%, and hitting another 26-year high. Nearly 3.4 million jobs have been lost during the first half of 2009, more than the 3.1 million lost in all of 2008.

Unemployment rates decreased in five states, and seven states had no rate change.

North Dakota's 4.2% jobless rate was the lowest in the nation, followed by Nebraska at 5%.

The Midwest and West both had jobless rates of 10.2%. The jobless rate in the Northeast rose to 8.6% from 8.3% but was the lowest of any U.S. region. In the South, unemployment rose to 9.2%.

Non-farm payroll employment fell in 39 states and the District of Columbia in June. California had the largest month-over-month decrease in jobs.

Payrolls increased in 10 states and were unchanged in one state. The largest over-the-month increase occurred in North Carolina.  To top of page

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