Michigan has finally lost it’s title as the state with the highest unemployment rate. The May numbers are out and Michigan’s rate has dropped to 13.6%. Nevada takes the top spot now with 14.0%. Michigan is continuing to move in the right direction since GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy in 2009, but danger still lurks ahead. A double-dip recession could stall auto sales and the Michigan recovery in late 2010 or early 2011. It’s a distinct possibility with declining US stimulus, a EuroZone determined to commit economic suicide, and increasing calls for “austerity” in the U.S. As usual, Calculated Risk gives us a great graph and explanation:
From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary
Regional and state unemployment rates were slightly lower in May. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia recorded unemployment rate decreases over the month, 6 states had increases, and 7 states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. …
In May, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 41 states and the District of Columbia, decreased in 5 states, and was unchanged in 4 states.
Nevada reported the highest unemployment rate among the states, 14.0 percent in May. This is the first month in which Nevada recorded the highest rate among the states and the first time since April of 2006 that a state other than Michigan has posted the highest rate. The rate in Nevada also set a new series high. (All region, division, and state series begin in 1976.) The states with the next highest rates were Michigan, 13.6 percent; California, 12.4 percent; and Rhode Island, 12.3 percent.
This graph shows the high and low unemployment rates for each state (and D.C.) since 1976. The red bar is the current unemployment rate (sorted by the current unemployment rate).
Sixteen states and D.C. now have double digit unemployment rates. New Jersey is close.
Nevada set a new series high at 14% and now has the highest state unemployment rate. Michigan held the top spot for over 4 years.