Nevada takes dubious jobless title from Michigan

chart_unemploy_rate.top.gif By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Nevada's jobless rate hit a record high last month and and is now the highest in the nation, the first time in four years that Michigan doesn't hold that distinction, according to a government report released Friday.

The Silver State's unemployment rate climbed to 14% in May, the highest in the state since 1976 when the Labor Department began collecting the data. It was up from 13.7% in April.

Meanwhile, joblessness slipped to 13.6% from 14% the previous month in Michigan, which has been ravaged by the struggles of the auto industry. The state has been the leader in unemployment rate since April 2006.

During the last year, Nevada has lost a net total of more than 29,000 jobs, and posts the highest percentage increase in unemployment at 2.5%.

"So much of Nevada's economy is tied to the gaming industry and housing sector, which continue to weigh on Nevada's labor market across the board," said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo. "Consumer spending on travel and leisure is still in a pullback, and while the housing market is no longer in a free fall, there are still a lot of vacant homes in Nevada."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also said in a statement that mounting unemployment in the state is a sign that Nevada continues to suffer from extreme economic conditions.

"This increase in our unemployment rate only emphasizes the need to diversify our state's economy and create jobs," said Reid, who is in a difficult fight for re-election.

Though it's still the second highest in the nation, Michigan's unemployment rate has improved after peaking at 14.5% in December.

"Auto sales and production are up, and that has helped generate a little improvement in Michigan," said Vitner, highlighting that the state added 4,500 manufacturing jobs in May, likely due to hiring at auto plants.

Meanwhile, a majority of U.S. states welcomed lower unemployment rates last month, the report said.

A total of 37 states and the nation's capital posted declines in jobless rates in May on a monthly basis. Unemployment increased in six states and seven states reported no changes.

On an annual basis, the job market is still sluggish. Joblessness climbed in 31 states and in Washington, D.C., from a year earlier, and only eased in 17 states.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,614.81 215.14 1.31%
Nasdaq 4,419.48 103.41 2.40%
S&P 500 1,941.28 37.27 1.96%
Treasuries 2.21 0.03 1.24%
Data as of 5:30am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 102.47 2.71 2.72%
Bank of America Corp... 16.60 0.34 2.09%
The Coca-Cola Co 40.68 -2.61 -6.03%
Regions Financial Co... 9.26 0.10 1.09%
Yahoo! Inc 40.18 0.90 2.29%
Data as of Oct 21

Sections

Yahoo was in the spotlight Tuesday as it released its third-quarter results, its first earnings release since the Alibaba IPO. More

Startups focusing on "ag tech," or agricultural technology, are gaining the attention of farmers and investors More

Foreign workers, lured by false promises of good jobs and benefits in America, soon find themselves enslaved in plain sight as victims of labor trafficking, a report from the Urban Institute finds. Here's how it can happen. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.