January 28, 2009
In December 2008, Michigan and Rhode Island reported the highest jobless rates, 10.6 and 10.0 percent, respectively; Wyoming posted the lowest unemployment rate among the states.
The Rhode Island rate was the highest in its series. (All state series begin in 1976.) Four additional states recorded rates of 9.0 percent or more: South Carolina, 9.5 percent; California, 9.3 percent; Nevada, 9.1 percent; and Oregon, 9.0 percent.
Wyoming posted the lowest unemployment rate, 3.4 percent, followed closely by North Dakota at 3.5 percent.
Overall, 10 states and the District of Columbia registered significantly higher jobless rates than the U.S. figure of 7.2 percent, 22 states reported measurably lower rates, and 18 states had rates little different from that of the nation.
These data come from the BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics program and are seasonally adjusted. More State unemployment statistics are available in "Regional and State Employment and Unemployment: December 2008" (PDF) (HTML), news release USDL 09-0093.