Special Report Your Job

State jobless picture brightens a little

In September, 23 states saw jobless rates rise, government says. But Michigan remains hardest hit at 15.3%, and the national rate stands at a 26 year high.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Julianne Pepitone, CNNMoney.com staff reporter

Unemployed -- without a lifeline
In July, CNNMoney.com told the stories of 4 out-of-work Americans who had just lost their unemployment benefits. Here's where they are today.
At what level will the Dow Jones industrial average end 2009?
  • Above 11,000
  • Between 10,000 and 11,000
  • At 10,000
  • Below 10,000

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Fewer states posted an increase in unemployment in September, even as the national rate recently hit a 26-year high of 9.8%.

Jobless rates increased in 23 states and the District of Columbia last month, according to a report released Wednesday by the Labor Department.

Additionally, 19 states posted a decrease in unemployment, and eight states had rates hold steady in September.

That's compared to August, when 27 states and the District of Columbia recorded month-over-month unemployment rate increases.

Bad news still dominates. The overall employment picture remains very grim. All 50 states and the District of Columbia reported an increase in unemployment compared with September 2008.

And the national unemployment rate is widely expected to push above 10%, even as the economy has started showing some signs of turnaround. Nationwide, September marked the 21st consecutive month that the total number of workers on payrolls shrunk, with 7.2 million jobs lost during that period.

Michigan remains the state hardest hit by unemployment, with a rate of 15.3%. It reported the biggest year-over-year jump, up 6.4 percentage points. Nevada had the next-highest rate, 13.3%, followed by Rhode Island at 13% and California, at 12.2%.

Florida, with 11% unemployment, as well as Nevada and Rhode Island, all posted the highest unemployment rates on record since the survey of states began in 1976.

A total of 15 states reported jobless rates above 10% in September, according to the federal data.

A few bright spots: North Dakota again posted the lowest jobless rate in September, at 4.2%. It was followed by South Dakota, with 4.8%; Nebraska, at 4.9%; and Utah, at 6.2%. Five states were tied for the next lowest rate of 6.7%.

Nineteen states reported declines in joblessness from August. Minnesota and Ohio each posted the biggest declines, at 0.7 percentage point, while rates in Oregon and Wisconsin both dipped by 0.5 percentage point.

But even that good news isn't all that good. In Ohio, for example, the unemployment rate has fallen to 10.1%, down 1.1 percentage points from July. However that's probably just because discouraged job-hunters are giving up the search altogether, according to Brian Harter of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, which means that they aren't counted in the unemployment rate survey.

"Some are frustrated because they cannot find work," he said in an e-mail, "while others are going back to school so they can retrain themselves to re-enter the workforce in a different vocation."

Meanwhile, as the economic downturn drags on, more people across the country are losing their unemployment benefits. Congress is debating measures that would extend these benefits to the unemployed. The House has approved an extension but the Senate has not yet voted on it.

In a Senate Democrats' proposal, unemployment benefits would be extended by up to 14 weeks in every state, and then another six weeks on top of that in states where the unemployment rate tops 8.5%. Currently, states with rates above 8% now offer up to 79 weeks of benefits. States with rates between 6% and 8% now offer up to 59 weeks, and all other states currently offer up to 46 weeks. To top of page

They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
10 of the most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.