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State unemployment rates in September 2009

October 26, 2009

Michigan again recorded the highest unemployment rate among the states in September, 2009, 15.3 percent, up slightly from 15.2 percent in June, 2009.

States with the highest and lowest unemployment rates and U.S. unemployment rate, September 2009
[Chart data]

The states with the next highest rates were Nevada, 13.3 percent; Rhode Island, 13.0 percent; and California, 12.2 percent. The rates in Nevada and Rhode Island set new series highs. Florida, at 11.0 percent, also posted a series high. (All state series begin in 1976.)

By comparison, the states with the second through fourth highest unemployment rates in June, 2009, were Rhode Island (12.4 percent), Oregon (12.2 percent), and South Carolina (12.1 percent), in that order.

North Dakota continued to register the lowest jobless rate, 4.2 percent in September, followed by South Dakota, 4.8 percent, and Nebraska, 4.9 percent.

In total, 27 states registered jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 9.8 percent, 9 states and the District of Columbia had measurably higher rates, and 14 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

These data are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program and are seasonally adjusted. More State unemployment statistics are available in "Regional and State Employment and Unemployment: September 2009" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL 09-1270.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, State unemployment rates in September 2009 at (visited June 16, 2024).

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