The December state-by-state unemployment rates were released today. Michigan, which led (?) the nation for many years with the highest rate until mid-2010 when Nevada overtook it, has dropped in the rating. In December, Michigan’s rate dropped 0.7 points from November. Michigan’s unemployment rate has now dropped 2.8 percentage points in the last 12 months, by far the best improvement in the nation. Overall, the story for the nation is that most states, (35) have had no significant change during the past two years. Of the remaining, most worsened, although a few, notably Michigan, improved. From the BLS via Calculated Risk:
From the BLS: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary
Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in December. … Nevada continued to register the highest unemployment rate among the states, 14.5 percent in December. The states with the next highest rates were California, 12.5 percent, and Florida, 12.0 percent. The Nevada rate was the highest in its series.
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).