Jobless Rate Rose in 27 States in February; Four Hit Records


Unemployment continued to rise several states in February—even breaking records in some states, according to government data released Friday.


Joblessness in four states—Florida (12.2 percent), Nevada (13.2 percent), Georgia (10.5 percent) and North Carolina (11.2 percent)—hit record highs.

In all, 27 states saw their rates increase in February over the previous month. Seven states and the District of Columbia reported a decrease and 16 states had no change in their unemployment, according to the Labor Department. It was a slight improvement to January’s report which showed 30 states and the District of Columbia reporting an increase in joblessness from the previous month.

The national unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent in February, the same as the month before.

Michigan still had the highest jobless rate in the nation, though it dipped to 14.1 percent from 14.3 percent in January.

“The state’s unemployment rate has fallen slightly in the first two months of 2010, however, payroll jobs have been relatively flat since the summer of 2009” said Rick Waclawek, director of Michigan’s Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives in a statement.

Nancy Siegel, the regional vice president in Michigan for human resources firm Adecco , said they continued to see a strong demand for temporary workers as employers remained cautious about the economy. “There are still a lot of companies that aren’t ready to make head count additions,” said Siegel.

However, some employers who don’t have the staff to make hires have been asking Adecco to recruit permanent employees, said Siegel. “We haven’t seen that in a long time,” she said.

Siegel also said she has seen an increase in automotive manufacturing in the state.

Behind Michigan, Nevada had the second highest jobless rate in the country with 13.2 percent, followed by Rhode Island (12.7 percent), California (12.5 percent), South Carolina (12.5 percent) and Florida.

North Dakota again had the lowest jobless rate in country at 4.1 percent in February, followed by Nebraska and South Dakota reporting a jobless rate of 4.8 percent each.