Unemployment Exceeds 15% in Michigan, Rises to New Highs in Other States

The BLS reports:

Michigan again reported the highest jobless rate, 15.2 percent, in June. (The last state to have an unemployment rate of 15.0 percent or higher was West Virginia in March 1984.) The states with the next highest rates were Rhode Island, 12.4 percent; Oregon, 12.2 percent; South Carolina, 12.1 percent; Nevada, 12.0 percent; California, 11.6 percent; Ohio, 11.1 percent; and North Carolina, 11.0 percent.

The Nevada, Rhode Island, and South Carolina rates were the highest on record for those states. Florida, at 10.6 percent, Georgia, at 10.1 percent, and Delaware, at 8.4 percent, also posted series highs. North Dakota registered the lowest unemployment rate in June, 4.2 percent. Overall, 12 states and the District of Columbia had significantly higher jobless rates than the U.S. figure of 9.5 percent, 27 states reported measurably lower rates, and 11 states had rates little different from that of the nation.

Keep in mind that those are official numbers only. The real unemployment rate is likely to be about 7% higher in each state. The real nationwide unemployment rate is over 16% already.

Unemployment is primarily an east and west coast phenomenon. This is where the excesses of the consumption credit expansion were most prevalent. Now is payback time. There are actually several mid-western and southern states with unemployment below 6.4%, North Dakota even below 5%.

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Unemployment Rate at 16.5%

As I expected yesterday, the official employment report for June indicates that businesses in the US shed another 476,000 jobs:

Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in June (-467,000), and the unemployment rate was little changed at 9.5 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Job losses were widespread across the major industry sectors, with large declines occurring in manufacturing, professional and business services, and construction.

It is noteworthy that real unemployment is now at 16.5%:

bls-june-2009
Click on image to enlarge.

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Unemployment at 15.6 Percent

The monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics report indicates that U-6 (the rate of the officially unemployed (U-3) plus discouraged workers who have stopped looking plus people trying to get by in part time jobs) has gone up to 15.8%:

bls-april-2009

Another measure that is always worth looking at is at shadowstats.com:

Chart of U.S. Unemployment

The SGS Alternative rate is an attempt at a more accurate approximation of the number of discouraged workers which was narrowed down under President Clinton. This rate has now reached around 20%.

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Civilians Unemployed for 27+ Weeks at Record High

The number of civilians unemployed for 27+ weeks is soaring to record highs since it was first tracked:

5 yr chart:

fredgraph-5yr-civilian-unemployment
Click on image to enlage.

60 yr chart:
fredgraph-60yr-civilian-unemployment
Click on image to enlarge.

Part of the stimulus bill was an extension of unemployment benefits:

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) has a Q&A (PDF) that details the new options available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which allows high unemployment states to provide up to 13 to 20 weeks of additional extended benefits to workers who run out of federal funded unemployment benefits. Currently, there are 20 to 33 weeks of benefits for workers who run out of their state unemployment, so this plan, if adopted by the states, would provide additional weeks of federally funded benefits.

This, of course, will only aggravate the numbers above for a simple reason: The more something is subsidized, the more of it will be produced.

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