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Robert Trigaux

Florida, Tampa Bay jobless rates high but stabilizing as other states still soaring



Jobfaircoliseumstpeteearly2009dirkshadd The job numbers are out. Florida's unemployment rate moderated slightly in August, dropping to 10.7 percent from an adjusted 10.8 percent a month ago. In the Tampa Bay area, unemployment stood at 11.3 percent compared to an adjusted 11.4 percent in July.Here's more local detail and here's the state's press release.

(Photo: Job hopefuls pack the Coliseum during the Tampa Bay Job Fair in St. Petersburg earlier this year.Photo by Dirk Shadd of the St. Petersburg Times.)

So how is Florida doing versus other states? Forty-two states lost jobs last month, up from 29 in July. The states with the biggest payroll cuts? Texas (which has until recently stayed out of the big cuts lists), Michigan (how bad can it get up there?), Georgia and Ohio. According to AP, 27 states saw their unemployment rates increase in August, and 14 states and Washington, D.C., reported unemployment rates of 10 percent or above. That, of course, includes Florida.

Michigan had the highest jobless rate of 15.2 percent, followed by Nevada at 13.2 percent, Rhode Island at 12.8 percent, and California and Oregon at 12.2 percent each. The jobless rates in California, Nevada and Rhode Island were the highest on records dating to 1976.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent in August from 9.4 percent in July. Here are full details from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Here's some good perspective. Florida's 10.7 percent unemployment rate is 4.2 percentage points higher than the state rate of 6.5 percent a year ago. It shows Florida is no longer one of the national epicenters of skyrocketing unemployment.

Here are 11 states that suffered an equal or higher bump in unemployment from a year ago. The data show stats, current unemployment rate, last August's unemployment rate, and the percentage point increase.

* North Carolina 10.8 percent, 6.6 percent +4.2
* South Carolina 11.5 percent, 7.3 percent +4.2
* Tennessee 10.8 percent, 6.6 percent +4.2
* Kentucky 11.1 percent, 6.7 percent +4.4
* Rhode Island 12.8 percent, 8.3 percent +4.5
* California 12.2 percent, 7.6 percent +4.6
* West Virginia 9 percent, 4.2 percent +4.8
* Alabama 10.4 percent, 5.2 percent +5.2
* Oregon 12.2 percent, 6.5 percent +5.7
* Nevada 13.2 percent, 7 percent +6.2
* Michigan 15.2 percent, 8.6 percent +6.6

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:26am]


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