Michigan’s Jobless Rate No Longer Worst In The Country

It’s a distinction no state wants, and for the first time in four years, Michigan no longer has the nation's No. 1 unemployment rate.

Unemployment line
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Unemployment line

Michigan's unemployment rate dropped below 14 percent for the first time since June 2009 to 13.6 percent in May, putting it behind Nevada, according to the latest government data.

“So far in 2010, Michigan’s labor market has stabilized, and some key economic indicators have displayed modest gains,” said Rick Waclawek, director of Michigan’s Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives in a statement. “This is in sharp contrast to 2009, a year marked with severe monthly job losses and consistently rising unemployment.”

Nevada, which already has the No. 1 foreclosure rate in the nation, saw its jobless rate hit a record high of 14 percent in May vs. 13.7 percent in April.

Across the country most states continued to report an improvement in unemployment last month.

In all, 37 states and the District of Columbia saw their rates decrease in May from April. Just six states posted increases and seven states had no change in their unemployment, according to the Labor Department.

Nationally, the unemployment rate dipped to 9.7 percent in May, from 9.9 percent in April, although most of the jobs created were census workers. Private employers added just 41,000 jobs, down from 218,000 in April.

Behind Nevada and Michigan, California had the third highest jobless rate in the country at 12.4 percent, followed by Rhode Islandat 12.3 percent. (See the top 10 highest state unemployment rates in our slideshow.)

North Dakota again had the lowest jobless rate (3.6 percent), followed by South Dakota (4.6 percent) and Nebraska (4.9 percent).