Job Openings by State May 2010: Up 7.6% Under Obama

We have updated the Best States for Job Openings.

Since January of 2009 when President Obama took office,  job openings by state as measured on Career Builder  have increased 7.6% to 252,884 from 235,059. The U.S. unemployment rate stood at 9.9% in May of 2010 and 15.3 million people were unemployed.  While the increase is encouraging, job openings must increase much more to make a dent in the high number of unemployed.

Thirty six states have seen increases in job openings under Obama while 14 states have seen decreases.

Of the ten largest states, 9 have shown increases in the number of job openings.  Of these large states, North Carolina  was the Best State for Job Openings on Careerbuilder.  Job openings have increased 17.0% in North Carolina since Obama became President.   Illinois was the only large state to show a decrease in job openings since January of 2009.  Its job openings decreased 4.5%.   California has the most job openings on Careerbuilder yet its unemployment at 12.6% is the second highest in the nation.

The list of best and worst states for job openings follows.  Interestingly, some of the states with low unemployment such as North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Vermont  have seen job openings shrink.

Best and Worst States for Job Openings 2010

Becker Blocked: Blow to Unionism

Craig Becker’s nomination to the National Labor Relations Board was blocked by the Senate today.  The vote was 52-33.  Sixty votes were needed to pass his nomination.  This is a blow to the Obama administration and the union movement as Becker was considered very pro union.  Politico today reported that the battle may not be over as Democrats and union leaders will be pressing President Obama to make a recess appointment.  See Senate Stops Craig Becker

Objection to Becker also stems from the opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act which if enacted would make it easier for unions to organize. Many senators are also concerned about the possible elimination of secret personal voting.  If the Obama adminstration is committed to job growth, it might want to reconsider these positions.  We have recently written on this.  See Does Increased Unionism lead to more Unemployment?

Stay tuned the battle is not over.  Just stalled for now.

One Year Of Obama and Stimulus: Job Openings down 5.48% , Unemployment Up to 10%

It has been one year since President Obama took office and announced a stimulus bill that was to improve jobs.  The data suggests that the job market continued to deteriorate this past year.  Unemployment is up to 10% from 7.4%.  Job Openings are down 5.48%

Job Openings, as measured on careerbuilder.com, have not improved from one year ago.  Nationwide, job openings at January 31, 2010 were 5.48% lower than January 29, 2009.  Total job openings stand at 222,189 as compared to 235,059 last year, a decrease of 12,870.  37 States have lower job openings as compared to last year.

 

 

Best and Worst States has been tracking Job Openings by State for the past year and has reported on movements.  For some of our previouslinks see November 2009, Job Stimulus Not Working  , Job Openings September 2009 and last year’s Best and Worst States for Job Openings January 2009.  While the drops early in the year have appeared to stabilize, the level of job openings is not robust enough to suggest significant improvements in employment soon.

The Best State for Job Openings is Indiana as measured by growth.  Indiana had the largest gain in job openings, 887, up 17.4% from a year ago. Best States for Jobs also were Kentucky, Ohio and TennesseeFlorida and Ohio were the best large states for job openings.  They were the only 2 states of the Top Ten Employment States to show increases in openings.  13 States had increases in job openings from a year ago.

The Worst State for Jobs was California.  It has 3,667 less job openings from a year ago, a decrease of 14.18%.  California also has the fourth worst employment rate in the nation.  Unemployment in California is now at 12.4%, up 3.7% from a year ago.  California is struggling on many fronts and an increasing jobless population will not help it turn around.  For more on California see California Jobs Shrinking

Additional Worst States for Jobs  are Texas, Illinois,Massachusetts and Arizona.  They each had large job opening losses and double digit declines in percentage terms.

Another measure of job openings, the Conference Board’s Help Wanted On-Line Data Series is also indicating year over year decreases in job openings. The Conference Board Data for 2009 annual average job openings stands at 3,357,000, 1.1million below the 4,481,000 annual average for 2008.  More importantly their average job opening number for 2009 is 2.4 million below the 2007 average job opening number.  These are not good numbers.  On an encouraging note,the Conference Board reported positive improvement in job openings in New York, Washington, Connecticut, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Delaware and New Jersey.

All 50 states saw their unemployment rates increase in 2009.  See Unemployment by State 2009 for the entire 2009 list and unemployment changes from a year ago. Job openings must increase significantly nationwide if unemployment is to improve to acceptable levels. It is going to take some time for this to occur.

 

Job Openings by State January 2010

 

Largest State
California Continues to
Show Shrinking Job Openings


Texas Jobs Not Growing

Florida Shows Small Increase

Illinois Jobs Down 10.64%

37 States Have
Fewer Job Openings

2 of 10 Largest States
Show Small Increase

Indiana Best State for Job Opening Growth

Job Openings Do Not Suggest
Employment Improvements

Best and Worst States for Jobs: Will jobs improve in 2010?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released state unemployment for December 2009 today.  Every state in the U.S. saw its unemployment rate rise in 2009.

The Best State for Jobs and Employment in 2009 was North Dakota.  It had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 4.4%.  Its unemployment rate increased by 1.1% in 2009.  South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma and Kansas were also Top States for Jobs and Employment.

The Worst State for Jobs and Employment in 2009 was Michigan.  Its unemployment ended the year at 14.6%, an increase of 4.4% in 2009.  21 states and D.C. saw their unemployment ranks increase by 3% or more in 2009.  2009 was a very bad year for those seeking employment.  Nevada, Rhode Island, South Carolina, California and D.C. all were Worst States for Jobs and Unemployment in 2009.  They all have unemployment rates of 12% or higher.

Minnesota and North Dakota had the smallest unemployment increases in 2009 with increases of only 0.8%. The Worst States for Unemployment Increases were West Virginia and Nevada which had increases of 4.6% in unemployment.  The list of Best and Worst States for Jobs and Employment is below.  It is presented from best to worst based on year over year changes.  Politically, these are very poor numbers for the Obama administration.  With the large health care bill off the table for now, let’s hope businesses will become a little more willing to hire in 2010.

Best and Worst States for Jobs

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

Health Care Stopped!!! Jobs will be front and center.

The massive health care bill fiasco is over.  Speaker Nancy Pelosi today told the world “In its present form without any changes I don’t think it’s possible to pass the Senate bill in the House.”  Health care as sold by the Democrats is over.  She further commented on next steps with an insightful, “We’re not in a big rush.”

When we posted the results of the first poll showing Scott Brown in the lead  on January 10, the mainstream media still was not ready to get behind the idea of a possible Brown victory in Massachusetts.  It was not until mid-week when some more traditional polling organizations showed similar race tightness that the media explosion took off.  The Massachusetts vote became a national referendum on President Obama and his policies.

While the bill was unpopular with the majority of Americans and swept in Brown, it was also unpopular with many state legislatures and governors.  They viewed it as a major usurpation of states rights. More importantly,  it was filled with unfunded mandates that would put even more pressures on state’s budgets.  Look for the Democrats and Republicans now to quickly change the focus to jobs.  Let’s hope they do no more harm to a tepid recovery.

The Department of Labor reported an increase in jobless claims today.  The 4 week average of jobless claims for week ending January 16, 2010 was 448,250.  Last year the 4 week average was 526,500, a reduction of 78,250 from a year ago.  While there is talk of improvement in the jobs market, the data supporting such a claim is sketchy.  The 14.8% reduction in claims from a year ago, while positive, is still a very high number from historical perspectives.  It is associated with very poor labor environments.  With health care dead, businesses will have one less risk and expense wildcard to deal with.  It will be a while before the job engine gets going.

The BLS will publish year end state unemployment rates for 2009 tomorrow.  Check back for the list of Best States for Jobs in 2009.

Source:  Department of Labor 2010

Best States for Jobs September 2009, 48 States See Opening Decreases

We ran our September 2009 Best and Worst States for Job openings.  Job Openings dropped an alarming 6.2% on September 30 as compared to July 31.  This is particularly discouraging as we had seen our only increase in job openings this year in July.  This reversal ratifies the year long downward trend.  We develop our analysis from data listed by the nation’s largest job posting service CareerBuilder.com.  It is a good proxy for job openings nationwide.

Job Openings nationwide shrank in September to 217,040 from 231,370 in July, a drop of 14,330 job openings.

48 States saw jobs shrink.  Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana saw the biggest percentage job opening lossesKentucky Jobs, with an increase of only 180 job openings. and Utah Jobs, up 30, were the Top States for Jobs and the only 2 states in the nation that showed improvement since July 31.

California Jobs shrank the most numerically with an 1197 loss at September 30. Texas Jobs, Florida Jobs and Pennsylvania Jobs showed large losses in numbers in September.  ( I will post analysis of Job Opening Losses during the Obama Administration after unemployment numbers are released for September)

The list of Best and Worst States for Jobs as of September 2009 follows:

30-Sep 31-Jul +/- % Change
1 California 22253 23450 -1197 -5.10%
2 Texas 18219 19373 -1154 -5.96%
3 Florida 14072 14927 -855 -5.73%
4 New York 12410 12667 -257 -2.03%
5 Illinois 11243 11747 -504 -4.29%
6 Pennsylvania 10407 11193 -786 -7.02%
7 New Jersey 7901 7938 -37 -0.47%
8 Ohio 8171 8286 -115 -1.39%
9 Virginia 7162 7547 -385 -5.10%
10 North Carolina 6486 6860 -374 -5.45%
11 Maryland 5928 6128 -200 -3.26%
12 Georgia 5824 6470 -646 -9.98%
13 Arizona 5357 5701 -344 -6.03%
14 Massachusetts 5261 5269 -8 -0.15%
15 Michigan 5177 5443 -266 -4.89%
16 Washington 4407 4940 -533 -10.79%
17 Indiana 5282 5589 -307 -5.49%
18 Missouri 4518 5109 -591 -11.57%
19 Colorado 3815 3937 -122 -3.10%
20 Tennessee 4627 4862 -235 -4.83%
21 Connecticut 3893 4271 -378 -8.85%
22 Wisconsin 3855 4816 -961 -19.95%
23 Minnesota 3494 3754 -260 -6.93%
24 South Carolina 3239 3470 -231 -6.66%
25 Kansas 2816 3281 -465 -14.17%
26 Louisiana 2898 3067 -169 -5.51%
27 Kentucky 3468 3285 183 5.57%
28 Iowa 2268 2460 -192 -7.80%
29 Alabama 2352 2883 -531 -18.42%
30 Oklahoma 2115 2339 -224 -9.58%
31 Nevada 1718 1864 -146 -7.83%
32 Oregon 1808 1986 -178 -8.96%
33 Mississippi 1475 1684 -209 -12.41%
34 New Mexico 1435 1468 -33 -2.25%
35 Utah 1370 1340 30 2.24%
36 Arkansas 1292 1557 -265 -17.02%
37 Nebraska 1135 1139 -4 -0.35%
38 Delaware 996 1030 -34 -3.30%
39 Alaska 659 1058 -399 -37.71%
40 Hawaii 668 748 -80 -10.70%
41 West Virginia 832 914 -82 -8.97%
42 New Hampshire 671 705 -34 -4.82%
43 Rhode Island 633 722 -89 -12.33%
44 South Dakota 497 664 -167 -25.15%
45 Idaho 741 813 -72 -8.86%
46 Vermont 600 608 -8 -1.32%
47 North Dakota 299 465 -166 -35.70%
48 Maine 509 539 -30 -5.57%
49 Montana 458 585 -127 -21.71%
50 Wyoming 326 419 -93 -22.20%
Entire U.S. 217040 231370 -14330 -6.19%

Career Builder Openings Continue to Alarmingly Shrink, No Improvement in Big States

With the U.S. unemployment rate now at the 25 year high of 9.4%, some in the media have suggested it is good news that the rate of job loss is slowing.  While there may be a glitter of hope in the lower number of job loss filings, the fact is job openings must improve in order to start absorbing the unemployed.  The question is when will corporations start hiring more and where.  The U.S. unemployment rate will not improve until job openings increase.

We have reported that job openings fell dramatically from January 2009 to March 14, 2009(See:  Job Openings Drop Nationwide in first 45 Days of Obama).  Job openings continued to drop but at a slower rate.

Best and Worst States analysis shows that job openings on careerbuilder.com have dropped 10.6% from Jan 29 to May 31 2009. Job openings less than 30 days old decreased to 210,048 as of May 31, 2009 from 235,059 as of January 29, 2009.  More importantly, job openings dropped further since March 14, 2009 when we last reported.  Job losses dropped 1.4% from 213,077 to 210,048.  One might cheer at only a 1.4% loss in 45 days but if your portfolio declined about 1% per month you should consider this alarming.  We are still losing job openings at the alarming rate of 1%  per month.  This is not what recoveries are built upon.

More importantly, all 10 of the biggest states have seen job opening drops since January.  These 10 states represented 54% of all the open jobs on Career Builder in May.  These states have seen a drop in openings of 12.25% since January, larger than the country average.  Illinois was the Worst State for Job Openings with a decline of 20.4%.  California at 16.6% decline was the second Worst State for Job Openings. New York at minus 14.3%, New Jersey at minus 13.2% and Pennsylvania at minus 10.6% job opening loss round out the 5 Worst States for Job Openings.

8 States showed improvement in job openings since January.  These states showed small job increases.  The Best State for Job Opening Improvement was South Carolina.  Its job openings increased by only 237 or 7.6%.  Kentucky at 134 and Indiana at 133 were the only other states that saw job openings improve by greater than 100.

Here is the listing of Job Openings by State for May 31,2009 as compared to Jan 31, 2009.

May-31-09 29-Jan-09 %Since 1-29
1 California 21565 25855 -4290 -16.6%
2 Texas 17988 20051 -2063 -10.3%
3 Florida 14119 15174 -1055 -7.0%
4 New York 11189 13057 -1868 -14.3%
5 Illinois 10912 13702 -2790 -20.4%
6 Pennsylvania 9964 11141 -1177 -10.6%
7 New Jersey 7492 8628 -1136 -13.2%
8 Ohio 7554 8276 -722 -8.7%
9 Virginia 6822 7186 -364 -5.1%
10 North Carolina 6359 6803 -444 -6.5%
11 Maryland 5872 6552 -680 -10.4%
12 Georgia 5500 5992 -492 -8.2%
13 Arizona 5237 5992 -755 -12.6%
14 Massachusetts 4810 6168 -1358 -22.0%
15 Michigan 4906 5541 -635 -11.5%
16 Washington 4354 4914 -560 -11.4%
17 Indiana 4864 4731 133 2.8%
18 Missouri 4451 4458 -7 -0.2%
19 Colorado 3735 4214 -479 -11.4%
20 Tennessee 4321 4413 -92 -2.1%
21 Connecticut 3633 4531 -898 -19.8%
22 Wisconsin 3760 4314 -554 -12.8%
23 Minnesota 3257 4193 -936 -22.3%
24 South Carolina 3373 3136 237 7.6%
25 Kansas 3232 3236 -4 -0.1%
26 Louisiana 3082 3494 -412 -11.8%
27 Kentucky 2897 2763 134 4.8%
28 Iowa 2322 2499 -177 -7.1%
29 Alabama 2551 2567 -16 -0.6%
30 Oklahoma 2083 2269 -186 -8.2%
31 Nevada 1732 1865 -133 -7.1%
32 Oregon 1667 1832 -165 -9.0%
33 Mississippi 1535 1548 -13 -0.8%
34 New Mexico 1369 1423 -54 -3.8%
35 Utah 1123 1236 -113 -9.1%
36 Arkansas 1347 1414 -67 -4.7%
37 Nebraska 1016 1230 -214 -17.4%
38 Delaware 855 1057 -202 -19.1%
39 Alaska 826 805 21 2.6%
40 Hawaii 761 865 -104 -12.0%
41 West Virginia 757 856 -99 -11.6%
42 New Hampshir 592 694 -102 -14.7%
43 Rhode Island 591 707 -116 -16.4%
44 South Dakota 673 585 88 15.0%
45 Idaho 703 665 38 5.7%
46 Vermont 562 659 -97 -14.7%
47 North Dakota 466 438 28 6.4%
48 Maine 459 449 10 2.2%
49 Montana 455 508 -53 -10.4%
50 Wyoming 355 373 -18 -4.8%
Entire U.S. 210048 235059 -25011 -10.6%

Source:  Best and Worst States and CareerBuilder.com

Finally, the recent drop is all the more alarming as there has been a headwindof positive stimulus.  The U.S. American Recovery and Reinvestment Actwas signed into law on February 14, 2009 about one month prior to ourlast measurement.  March was also the bottom of the stock market dropwith a strong rally of 25.6% in the Dow from March to May.  Onewould expect improvement in view of the great wealth effect of thestock market and the government stimulus.  We will update more fully job changes since March when the stock market began to recover in an upcoming post.  Signs of encouragement for job openings are not yet strong.

Are Business Friendly States Best for Jobs?

Editors Note:  If you are looking for a Best State for Jobs start your search with our latest posts:

 

Which States had the Best Employment Markets in 2009? Will 2010 Job Market Improve?

Best States for Job Openings September 2009

Best States for Job Openings and Where to find a Job

For the August 2009 list of Best States for Employment see Best and Worst States for Employment

Click on the category Best and Worst States for Jobs on the right navigation for our collection of articles on Jobs.

In our Job Openings post you will see the trends by state in job openings and what states are currently experiencing increased job openings.  We also have published the List of Job Openings by State

******Editor’s Note:  The rest of this post was published in April 2009 Go to  Best and Worst States   for our latest  *********************

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the March State Unemployment rates this week.   For our August 2009 listing and analysis of Best States for Job Openings click

We now have 8 states with unemployment above 10%.  Michigan is the Worst State for Jobs with an unemployment rate of 12.6%. Oregon is also very bad for jobs with a rate of 12.1%.  California, our most populated state, has an unemployment of 11.2% meaning that 1 out of 9 people are out of work. South Carolina also is a Worst State for Jobs with unemployment of 11.4%.

The  Best State for Jobs in March was North Dakota at 4.2%.  The other Top 5 States for Jobs were Wyoming at 4.5%, Nebraska at 4.6%, South Dakota at 4.9%.  Iowa and Utah were tied for fifth with 5.2% unemployment.

We thought we would take a look this month also at how states that are ranked for small business are doing on the job front.  In theory the better the small business environment the better the job environment.  We used the recently released SBEC report.  See: Best and Worst States for Small Business

The data shows that the Best States for Small Business are not all the Best States for Jobs at this moment.  5 of the top 10 Best States for Small Business, for example, have below average i.e. higher, unemployment. 45th ranked Iowa for example has the 4th best employment in the U.S.

As mentioned in the previous post, the SBEC index is primarily a tax based system and high or lower taxes are not the only reason companies grow and create jobs.  It would appear intuitive over time business friendly states should create more business and jobs. We will continue to watch this during the cycle as the better states may grow first and faster.

           Small
Rank State %Unemp  Biz Rank
1 NORTH DAKOTA 4.2 36
2 WYOMING 4.5 3
3 NEBRASKA 4.6 40
4 SOUTH DAKOTA 4.9 1
5 IOWA 5.2 45
5 UTAH 5.2 24
7 LOUISIANA 5.8 26
8 NEW MEXICO 5.9 27
8 OKLAHOMA 5.9 15
10 KANSAS 6.1 33
10 MONTANA 6.1 31
12 NEW HAMPSHIRE 6.2 25
13 ARKANSAS 6.5 23
14 TEXAS 6.7 5
15 VIRGINIA 6.8 16
16 MARYLAND 6.9 35
16 WEST VIRGINIA 6.9 39
18 IDAHO 7 41
19 HAWAII 7.1 37
20 VERMONT 7.2 43
21 COLORADO 7.5 8
21 CONNECTICUT 7.5 30
23 DELAWARE 7.7 21
24 ARIZONA 7.8 17
24 MASSACHUSETTS 7.8 42
24 NEW YORK 7.8 46
24 PENNSYLVANIA 7.8 29
28 MAINE 8.1 48
29 MINNESOTA 8.2 49
30 NEW JERSEY 8.3 50
31 ALASKA 8.5 7
31 WISCONSIN 8.5 32
33 MISSOURI 8.7 14
34 ALABAMA 9 9
35 ILLINOIS 9.1 18
36 GEORGIA 9.2 19
36 WASHINGTON 9.2 4
38 MISSISSIPPI 9.4 12
39 TENNESSEE 9.6 13
40 FLORIDA 9.7 6
40 OHIO 9.7 10
42 DC 9.8 51
42 KENTUCKY 9.8 28
44 INDIANA 10 22
45 NEVADA 10.4 2
46 RHODE ISLAND 10.5 44
47 NORTH CAROLINA 10.8 38
48 CALIFORNIA 11.2 47
49 SOUTH CAROLINA 11.4 11
50 OREGON 12.1 34
51 MICHIGAN 12.6 20

Tax Freedom Day 2009: Pick Your State Carefully

The Tax Foundation recently released their 2009 Tax Freedom Day Study.  It measures how many days the average worker must work to  pay taxes. There is a wide disparity among states. The tax burden you bear can significantly impact your quality of life.

The Best State for Tax Freedom is Alaska where it takes 82 days almost 25% of the year just to pay taxes.  Louisiana, Mississippi, South Dakota, North Dakota and West Virginia are also rated Best States for Tax Freedom.  If you are not retired, these states would be considered as candidates for Best States to Work.

The Worst State for Tax Freedom is Connecticut where it takes 120 days or until April 30 to pay taxes.  If you live in Connecticut 1/3 of your time every year goes to pay taxes to the Federal, State and Local governments.  That is almost 50% more days than Alaska.  New Jersey, New York, California and Maryland are also rated Worst States for Tax Freedom.

According to the Tax Foundation study, five major categories of tax dominate the tax burden. Individual income taxes, both federal and state, require 38 days’ work. Payroll taxes take another 27 days’ work. Sales and excise taxes, mostly state and local, take 15 days to pay off. Corporate income taxes take 6 days, and property taxes take 12. Americans will log 4 more days to pay other miscellaneous taxes, most notably including motor vehicle license taxes and severance taxes, and about 1 day for estate taxes.

What state you live in is very important in determining your lifestyle as higher cost of living states tend to have higher tax burdens.  Lower disposable income is the result.  Many states are also increasing many taxes due to economic conditions which will increase tax burdens.  Noteworthy examples are the proposed increases in New York and California that will make these heavily burdened states more undesirable to live.  If you are not retired, New York and California would have to be considered as 2 of the Worst States to Work.

Tax
State Days Freedom Day
1 Alaska 82 23-Mar
2 Louisiana 87 28-Mar
3 Mississippi 87 28-Mar
4 South Dakota 88 29-Mar
5 North Dakota 91 1-Apr
6 West Virginia 91 1-Apr
7 Alabama 92 2-Apr
8 New Mexico 92 2-Apr
9 Montana 93 3-Apr
10 Kentucky 93 3-Apr
11 Oklahoma 94 4-Apr
12 Iowa 94 4-Apr
13 South Carolina 94 4-Apr
14 Arkansas 94 4-Apr
15 Tennessee 95 5-Apr
16 Wyoming 95 5-Apr
17 Missouri 96 6-Apr
18 Maine 96 6-Apr
19 Texas 96 6-Apr
20 Nebraska 98 8-Apr
21 Kansas 98 8-Apr
22 Nevada 98 8-Apr
23 Indiana 98 8-Apr
24 Florida 99 9-Apr
25 Oregon 99 9-Apr
26 North Carolina 99 9-Apr
27 Michigan 100 10-Apr
28 Arizona 100 10-Apr
29 New Hampshire 100 10-Apr
30 Ohio 101 11-Apr
31 Delaware 101 11-Apr
32 Vermont 102 12-Apr
33 Idaho 102 12-Apr
34 Georgia 102 12-Apr
35 Colorado 102 12-Apr
36 Illinois 103 13-Apr
37 Hawaii 103 13-Apr
38 Utah 103 13-Apr
39 Wisconsin 103 13-Apr
40 Pennsylvania 104 14-Apr
41 Rhode Island 104 14-Apr
42 Minnesota 105 15-Apr
43 Washington 106 16-Apr
44 Massachusetts 106 16-Apr
45 Virginia 106 16-Apr
46 Maryland 109 19-Apr
47 California 110 20-Apr
48 New York 115 25-Apr
49 New Jersey 119 29-Apr
50 Connecticut 120 30-Apr

Source: Tax Foundation, Tax Freedom Day

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State Unemployment Up Everywhere in Feb, Michigan tops 12% Unemployed

The February 2009 State Unemployment numbers were released this past week and they were not pretty. Every state in the U.S. saw its unemployment rate increase.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)  also released March Unemployment, along with Feb state data, and the nationwide unemployment rate increased again to 8.5% nationwide.  It was 8.1% in February.

Seven States had unemployment above 10% in February.  Michigan was the Worst State for Jobs with a whopping 12% unemployment number.  South Carolina, Oregon, North Carolina, California Rhode Island and Nevada also qualify as Worst States for Employment as the 6 other states with unemployment above 10% .

The Best State for Jobs based on a low 3.9% unemployment is Wyoming. 4 other states qualify as Best States for Employment with rates still below 5%.  They are:  Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa.

Some of the state year on year changes are quite large.  Unemployment increased by over 100% from last year in Hawaii and Oregon for example.  Of the large states, Texas is holding up the best with unemployment of only 6.2% in February which was below the U.S. Feb average of 8.1%.

State data is released with a one month lag so expect March state unemployment to get even worse as unemployment increased nationwide in March by .4%.

State Feb-08 Feb-09 Change
1 Michigan 7.4 12 4.6
2 South Carolina 5.7 11 5.3
3 Oregon 5.4 10.8 5.4
4 North Carolina 5.2 10.7 5.5
5 California 6.2 10.5 4.3
6 Rhode Island 6.5 10.5 4
7 Nevada 5.5 10.1 4.6
8 District of Columbia 6.1 9.9 3.8
9 Florida 5.2 9.4 4.2
10 Indiana 5 9.4 4.4
11 Ohio 5.9 9.4 3.5
12 Georgia 5.4 9.3 3.9
13 Kentucky 5.6 9.2 3.6
14 Mississippi 5.9 9.1 3.2
15 Tennessee 5.5 9.1 3.6
16 Illinois . 5.9 8.6 2.7
17 Alabama 4.1 8.4 4.3
18 Washington 4.7 8.4 3.7
19 Missouri 5.5 8.3 2.8
20 New Jersey 4.7 8.2 3.5
21 Minnesota 5 8.1 3.1
22 Alaska 6.5 8 1.5
23 Maine 4.9 8 3.1
24 Massachusetts 4.6 7.8 3.2
25 New York 4.6 7.8 3.2
26 Wisconsin 4.5 7.7 3.2
27 Pennsylvania 4.8 7.5 2.7
28 Arizona 4.5 7.4 2.9
29 Connecticut 5.2 7.4 2.2
30 Delaware 4 7.4 3.4
31 Colorado 4.5 7.2 2.7
32 Vermont 4.4 7 2.6
33 Idaho 3.9 6.8 2.9
34 Maryland 3.7 6.7 3
35 Arkansas 4.8 6.6 1.8
36 Virginia 3.5 6.6 3.1
37 Hawaii 3.1 6.5 3.4
38 Texas 4.5 6.5 2
39 Montana 4 6 2
40 West Virginia 4.2 6 1.8
41 Kansas 4 5.9 1.9
42 Louisiana 3.8 5.7 1.9
43 Oklahoma 3.2 5.5 2.3
44 New Mexico 3.8 5.4 1.6
45 New Hampshire 3.7 5.3 1.6
46 Utah 3.3 5.1 1.8
47 Iowa 3.9 4.9 1
48 South Dakota 2.7 4.6 1.9
49 North Dakota 3 4.3 1.3
50 Nebraska 3 4.2 1.2
51 Wyoming 2.8 3.9 1.1
p = preliminary.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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