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The good and bad of Florida's unemployment picture compared to other states

A government analysis out Wednesday gave a mixed review for Florida's status in the pantheon of states battling rising unemployment.

By slowing down its rate of job loss to 18,000 jobs shed last month, Florida was not among 16 states deemed to have "significant" employment losses between August and September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Of the 16, the worst was New York, which dropped another 81,700 jobs month to month. Still, given that state's unemployment rate of 8.9 percent is far below the national average, Florida would trade places in a New York minute.

With its unemployment rate rising to 11 percent in September, Florida has joined an elite group of just seven states with unemployment rates of 11 percent or higher. Michigan reported the nation's highest unemployment rate at 15.3 percent. It was followed by Nevada at 13.3 percent, Rhode Island at 13 percent and California at 12.2 percent

All told, Florida has lost 360,400 jobs since September 2008, second in volume only to California, which has shed 732,700 jobs since last year.

Unemployment rates rose in 23 states and the District of Columbia, fell in 19 states and remained unchanged in eight states. The national unemployment rate for September was 9.8 percent.

The BLS state-by-state comparison singled out a few points of optimism. Ohio and Indiana, two Midwestern states at the heart of manufacturing losses, both reported significant drops in unemployment. The Midwest was the only region where the unemployment rate dropped, falling from 10 percent in August to 9.8 percent last month.

The good and bad of Florida's unemployment picture compared to other states 10/21/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 1:19pm]
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