Monday, May 19, 2008


The Bureau of Labor statistics posted this nifty map showing unemployment rates for states on Friday. California, Michigan, Rhode Island, Alaska, and Washington D.C. currently have the highest levels of unemployment. In addition, Florida, Nevada, and Georgia have experienced a percentage point gain in unemployment over the past year.

It's important to note that unemployment has a very narrow definition. To be unemployed a person has to not have been employed in the last week and to have actively looked for work in the last 4 weeks. If we add in people who are discouraged workers (that is, people who want work but haven’t looked because they don’t think jobs are available) and other people who aren’t working as much as they would like, the proportions are somewhat higher.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma has experienced a percentage point drop in unemployment over the past year. I guess it is not much surprise that the nation's breadbasket, as well as many of the oil-producing states, are doing pretty well these days.

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