Unemployment rates rose in 28 states and the District of Columbia in July,
reflecting weaker job prospects across the country despite a drop in the
national jobless rate.
Unemployment fell in eight states and was unchanged in 14 states, the Bureau
of Labor Statistics said Monday.
The unemployment rate rose sharply in eight states, including Alaska and
Georgia which posted the largest increases. The rate rose to 6.3% from 6.5% in
Alaska, and to 8.8% from 8.5% in Georgia.
Unemployment increased two-tenths of a percentage point in several other
states, including California, to 8.7%; Iowa, 4.8%; Nebraska, 4.2%; Vermont,
4.6%; and Virginia, 5.7%.
Only Mississippi had a significant drop in unemployment, to 8.5% from 9%.
Nevada continued to have the highest unemployment rate, at 9.5%, followed by
Illinois, at 9.2%. North Dakota, which is benefiting from an oil boom, continued
to have the lowest rate, at 3%.
States are likely feeling the delayed effects of sharp federal budget cuts
and a January payroll tax increase that has dampened consumer spending.
Nationally, the unemployment rate fell 7.4% from 7.6% last month, but employers
added a disappointing 162,000 jobs.
Paul Davidson, USA TODAY