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Joblessness Rises in Most States: 'I'm Looking for Anything'

Unemployment worsened in most states last month.

While the July unemployment figure rose a tenth of a point from June to 8.3 percent, the government says 44 states saw their jobless rates increase.

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Winston Davidian | Photodisc | Getty Images

These include Nevada, which continues to have the highest jobless rate in the nation, at 12 percent. But when compared to a year ago, the same number of states, 44, have lower unemployment, and even Nevada is in this group.

One year ago, the jobless rate in Nevada was 13.8 percent. (Related: Housing Starts Drop, Permits Jump; Jobless Claims Rise.)

The state with the most job growth continues to be California, with more than 25,000 jobs added between June and July. Over the last year, the nation's largest state, hit hard by the housing collapse, has had a net gain of a thousand jobs a day.

Still, California has the third highest unemployment rate in the country, at 10.7 percent.

"I'm looking for anything," said a woman named Pam at the Verdugo Jobs Center in Glendale, CA. "At my age, no one wants to hire me."

She says she has done secretarial work and worked in merchadising. Now she's hoping to become a house cleaner.

"It's a shame," said Albert Roperson, a former loan officer. "I have a part time job, but it doesn't pay the bills. You dig what I'm saying?" (Related: What Do Jobless Do When Unemployment Checks Run Out?)

A dozen states considered "swing states" saw their rates inch up from June to July.

Along with Nevada, other states with large monthly jumps include Wisconsin, home of GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan (7.3 percent), Michigan (9 percent), Pennsylvania (7.9 percent), and New Hampshire (5.3 percent). Still, most swing states enjoy a rate lower than the national average.

Even in the jobs center in Glendale, there is division of opinion over how this will play out in the election.

"There hasn't been too much of a change in four years," said an out of work veteran named Corey.

"You haven't given President Obama a chance to clean up the mess that's been going on for many, many, many years," replied Albert Roperson.

Nearby, a woman filling out paperwork chimed in. "When I say I'm hungry and stressed, and somebody says 'economy' or 'recession', I won't tell you what I tell them," she said. "You make your own breaks."

—By CNBC's Jane Wells
@janewells

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