Regional and state jobless rates were nearly all higher in February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. Forty-nine states recorded over-the-month unemployment rate increases with Michigan leading again the way. The near-collapse of the auto industry pushed Michigan’s unemployment rate up to 12% in February, seasonally adjusted, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In February, the West and Midwest again posted the highest regional jobless rates, 9.2 and 8.6%, respectively.
The states with the next highest rates were South Carolina, 11.0%; Oregon, 10.8%; North Carolina, 10.7%; California and Rhode Island, 10.5% each; and Nevada, 10.1%. Seven additional states reported unemployment rates over 9.0%.
Oregon, North and South Carolina, have seen their unemployment rate soar by more than 5% year-to-year.