Somehow Unemployment Looks Even Worse When Broken Down by State

The current unemployment picture is a disaster no matter how you slice it. However, unique and telling details emerge in a specific state-by-state analysis. The most tragic is that Florida, Nevada, and Rhode Island joblessness have all hit various record highs.

The overall, national unemployment rate ballooned to 9.8 percent, a 28-year high, in September. It also increased in 23 states, 14 of which had rates over 10%. The following is a rundown of some of the hardest hit states…

* Michigan, at 15.3 percent, is still the nation’s unemployment capital. It’s the epicenter of the failed auto industry and it shows.

* Nevada, at 13.3 percent, has the nation’s second-highest jobless rate.

* Rhode Island, at 13 percent, was third.

* Florida, at 11 percent, is at its highest rate since studies of unemployment data collection first started in 1976.

* It’s not a state, but the District of Columbia, at 11.4 percent, is also having difficulty with joblessness. This one’s kind of a surprise given the federal government’s predilection for inventing as many well-paid and useless bureaucratic positions as possible.

* Georgia’s unemployment rate did not go up, but remained at a high 10.1 percent.
It’s useful to take a deeper look behind the national statistics in order get a better sense of how the individual states are doing. It’s clear that at least a few of the hardest hit were some of the highest flying in their respective boom times. Many more specific are available in Bloomberg coverage of record highs in state-level unemployment.