Jobless Rates Improve but Many Have Given Up Looking

Most states across the country saw an improvement in employment in June as jobless rates dropped from the previous month, according to government data released on Tuesday. But that's mostly because many people gave up on their work searches and were no longer counted.

Unemployment line
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Unemployment line

In all, 39 states and the District of Columbia saw their rates decrease in April from the previous month. Only five states saw increases and six states had no change in their unemployment, according to the Labor Department.

But only 21 states saw net job gains in June, the government said. That compared to 41 the previous month and it was the fewest for the year.

The decline in job gains reflects the layoff of thousands of temporary census workers, who inflated total payrolls in May and then reduced them in June.

It's also a sign that businesses aren't hiring many new workers. Nationwide, private employers added a net gain of only 83,000 jobs last month.

Nonetheless, Tuesday's numbers were a slight improvement toMay’s report, which showed 37 and the District of Columbia reporting an increase in joblessness.

America's Top States for Business - A CNBC Special Report
America's Top States for Business - A CNBC Special Report

Only one state—Nevada—had its unemployment rate reach an all-time high. The state’s jobless rate in June was at 14.2 percent, up from 14.0 percent in the previous month. Nevada also had the highest jobless rate in the country for the second month in a row after it overtook Michigan as the nation's jobless leader in May. Nevada also leads the nation in foreclosures.

A reportreleased by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation on Monday said that a "national economic rebound" is needed in order to see an improvement in the state.

"But with stimulus dollars running short and private employers thus far sitting on the sidelines, expectations for near-term economic growth have diminished somewhat of late," the report said.

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell slightly to 9.5 percent in June, from 9.7 percent in May.

While Nevada sees its jobless rate increase, the state with the second highest jobless rate, Michigan, has seen its rate decline over the past several months because of an increase in jobs in the professional business, manufacturing and education and health services industries, said Bruce Weaver, economic analyst at the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth.

The states rate in June was at 13.2 percent, down from 13.6 percent a month ago and down from 13.9 percent a year ago, in June 2009.

The improvement in June, however, may have to do with more Michigan residents leaving the job market, a trend seen on the national level too, Weaver said. "For economic reasons, when unemployment is high there are those who won't seek a job" because they don't see many opportunities to be hired, he said.

Behind Nevada, Michigan had the second highest jobless rate in the country at 13.2 percent percent, followed by California (12.3 percent), Rhode Island (12.0 percent) and Florida (11.4 percent). (See the top 10 in our slideshow.)

North Dakota again had the lowest jobless rate in country at 3.6 percent in June, followed by South Dakota (4.5 percent) and Nebraska at 4.8 percent.