Unemployment Rises in 21 States, Showing Weak Job Market

The unemployment rate rose in 21 states and Washington D.C. in November, up from the 14 states that showed increases the month before, according to government data released Friday.


Fifteen states did report decreases in jobless rates in November, while 14 states remained unchanged.

Nevada continues to have the highest rate in the country, creeping up to 14.3 percent in November from 14.2 percent in the previous month. The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said in a statement that the rate is stabilizing.

"The stabilizing unemployment rate indicates that the worst of the recession is over,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, in a statement.

“However, the unemployment rate will likely remain elevated well into 2011 before declining slowly over a number of years,” said Anderson.

Michigan and California were tied for the the second highest unemployment rate in the country. Both states reported joblessness at 12.4 percent in November. California’s rate has been stuck at 12.4 percent since September, while Michigan saw its rate fall from 12.8 percent in the previous month.

However, the drop in Michigan wasn’t because there was an increase in hiring in the state, said Rick Waclawek, director of Michigan's Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.

"The jobless rate drop was primarily due to fewer state residents in the labor force seeking jobs,” he said in a statement.

Following Nevada, California and Michigan, the next states with the highest rates were Florida at 12.0 percent and Rhode Island at 11.6 percent.

The state with the lowest rate was South Dakota, with 4.5 percent unemployment.