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Unemployment jump ranks 28th in U.S.

Annual average unemployment rates rose in 2009 in all regions, divisions and states, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

The U.S. jobless rate jumped by 3.5 percentage points from the prior year to 9.3 percent, while the national employment-population ratio fell by 2.9 points to 59.3 percent.

Here in Mississippi, the unemployment rate was 9.6 percent, up 2.8 percentage points from 2008.

All four regions posted statistically significant unemployment rate increases from 2008. The West experienced the greatest jump (+3.8 percentage

points), followed by the Midwest (+3.6 points), South (+3.4 points) and Northeast (+3.0 points). The West, at 10.1 percent, and Midwest, at 9.6 percent, registered jobless rates significantly higher than the U.S. rate in 2009. The Northeast and South, at 8.4 and 8.9 percent, respectively, both had rates significantly below the national figure. In 2009, the West recorded the highest annual jobless rate in its series.

All nine geographic divisions also reported statistically significant over-the-year unemployment rate increases in 2009, with the largest occurring in the Pacific and East North Central (+4.1 and +4.0 percentage points, respectively). The divisions with the smallest rate increases were the West North Central (+2.4 percentage points) and West South Central (+2.6 points). Three divisions registered unemployment rates over 10.0 percent: the Pacific division posted the highest rate, 10.9 percent, followed by the East North Central, 10.6 percent, and the East South Central, 10.2 percent. The divisions with the lowest jobless rates last year were the West North Central, 7.3 percent, and West South Central, 7.4 percent. In addition to these two, the Middle Atlantic, Mountain, and New England divisions had rates significantly below the national figure. Two divisions reported the highest jobless rates in their series in 2009: the Pacific, 10.9 percent, and South Atlantic, 9.5 percent.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia posted statistically significant unemployment rate increases in 2009. Michigan and Nevada experienced the largest increases in their jobless rates (+5.3 and +5.1 percentage points, respectively). Seven additional states recorded rate jumps of at least 4.0 percentage points.

In 2009, 14 states and the District of Columbia reported unemployment rates of 10.0 percent or more. Michigan posted the highest unemployment rate for the fourth year in a row, 13.6 percent, followed by Nevada, 11.8 percent, and South Carolina, 11.7 percent. North Dakota registered the lowest jobless rate among the states, 4.3 percent, with Nebraska and South Dakota close behind at 4.6 and 4.8 percent, respectively. Thirty states had unemployment rates that were significantly lower than the U.S. rate of 9.3 percent, and 13 states and the District of Columbia recorded rates significantly above it. Nine states reported the highest jobless rates in their annual series: California (11.4 percent), Delaware (8.1 percent), Florida (10.5 percent), Georgia (9.6 percent), Kansas (6.7 percent), Nevada (11.8 percent), North Carolina (10.6 percent), Rhode Island (11.2 percent), and South Carolina (11.7 percent).


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