Unemployment Rates Hit Record Highs In Several States In June


Florida, Rhode Island and Nevada were among six states to post record jobless rates in June.

In all, the government's latest data showed 38 states and the District of Columbia posted an increase in unemployment from the previous month.

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia surpassed the national unemployment rate of 9.5 percent

On the bright side, five states reported a decrease in jobless rates, while seven had no change.

Michigan had the highest rate—15.2-percent—becoming the first state in 25 years to break that level. (West Virginia was the last in 1984.)

Michigan’s job losses are mainly the result of the continued restructuring of the auto industry, said Rick Waclawek, director of the state's Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth's Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.

Both Chrysler and General Motors filed for bankruptcy protection this year, reducing jobs in the state. General Motors announced last week it was emerging from bankruptcy, as did Chrysler.

“Right sizing the auto sector and its impact on manufacturing jobs have pushed Michigan's rate near levels it hasn't seen since 1982,” said Waclawek. The state reached a historical high in November 1982 when unemployment hit 16.9 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


No other state came close to matching Michigan's level, even if they were well above the national rate. Rounding out the top five were: Rhode Island at 12.4 percent, Oregon (12.2 percent), South Carolina (12.1 percent) and Nevada (12.0 percent).

The rates were the highest on record for Nevada, Rhode Island and South Carolina. Other states that broke records in June were Florida (10.6 percent), Georgia (10.1 percent) and Delaware (8.4 percent).

Regionally, the Midwest and West had the highest jobless rates in the country at 10.2 percent each, while the Northeast has the lowest rate at 8.6 percent.

North Dakota reported the lowest unemployment rate in June at 4.2 percent, followed by Nebraska at 5.0 percent.

To see which 10 states had the highest jobless rates, click on to our slideshow.