Virtually all US state jobless rates higher in May


Posted at Jun 20 2008 11:43 PM | Updated as of Jun 21 2008 07:43 AM


WASHINGTON - All but one US state reported a higher jobless rate in May, led by Michigan and Rhode Island.

Michigan, hit hard by a slumping automotive industry and high home foreclosure rates, saw its unemployment rate rise 1.6 percentage points to 8.5 percent in May from 6.9 percent in April.

Only Louisiana showed a month-on-month decrease in its seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, edging down to 4.0 percent in May from 4.1 percent in April. But the Gulf Coast state's labor force declined about 11,300 during the month, indicating fewer people actively were seeking jobs.

All other states and the District of Columbia, showed increases in their unemployment rates in May versus April.

The national unemployment rate rose to 5.5 percent in May compared to 5.0 percent in April, the Labor Department reported on June 6. A number states exceeded the national half-percentage point rise for the month.

The unemployment rate in Rhode Island rose by 1.1 percentage points to 7.2 percent in May, while in Illinois the rate rose 1.0 percentage point to 6.4 percent. California's rate rose 0.6 percentage point to 6.8 percent.

Among regions, the East North Central and Pacific registered the highest jobless rates in May at 6.4 percent each, while the Mountain and West South Central regions reported the lowest rates at 4.4 percent each.