NPR logo In Many States, Unemployment Tops 10 Percent

In Many States, Unemployment Tops 10 Percent

Jobless in August

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is reporting that unemployment levels in 14 states are significantly higher than the national average of 9.7 percent. Michigan tops the list with a rate of 15.2 percent, followed by Nevada with 13.2 percent and Rhode Island with 12.8 percent.

Twenty-seven states reported month over month increases in unemployment in August while 16 states experienced decreases. In states like Ohio and Georgia, where the unemployment rate fell, officials say people giving up on the job search contributed to the drop.

"A decrease in Ohio's labor force was a primary factor in drop of the August unemployment rate," ODJFS Director Douglas Lumpkin said. "The unemployment rate declined as the number of service-providing and goods-producing jobs decreased and fewer Ohioans were actively seeking work."

Ohio's labor force participation rate, which measures the number of people who are either employed or actively seeking work, fell 0.4 percent last month, Georgia's fell by 0.3 percent.

States with a strong manufacturing presence experienced the greatest month over month increases in unemployment. Texas payrolls fell by 62,200, Michigan payrolls by 42,900.