WASHINGTON ? Recent government data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that unemployment rates rose in 26 states from July to August.
Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in August. BLS also reports that 12 states and the District of Columbia posted rate decreases, and 12 states had no change. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, seven states experienced increases, and one had no change. The national jobless rate edged down to 8.1% from July and was 1.0 percentage point lower than in August 2011.
Nevada continued to record the highest unemployment rate among the states, 12.1% in August. Rhode Island and California posted the next highest rates, 10.7% and 10.6%, respectively. North Dakota again registered the lowest jobless rate, 3%.
In total, 21 states reported jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 8.1%, 12 states had measurably higher rates, and 17 states and the District of Columbia had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.
Nine states reported statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate changes in August, of which seven were increases and two were decreases. The significant increases occurred in Connecticut (+0.5 percentage point), Michigan (+0.4 point), New Hampshire and Vermont (+0.3 point each), and Iowa, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania (+0.2 point each). Hawaii and Utah registered the only significant declines over the month (-0.2 percentage point each). The remaining 41 states and the District of Columbia recorded jobless rates that were not measurably different from those of a month earlier, though some had changes that were at least as large numerically as the significant changes.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia reported statistically significant unemployment rate decreases from August 2011, the largest of which occurred in
Mississippi (-1.8 percentage points). New York experienced the only significant over-the-year increase in its unemployment rate (+0.8 percentage point).