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BLS Breaks Down Unemployment Stats, West Region Still Hurting Most

While the national unemployment dropped in August, some regions are still reeling from above-average jobless rates, the ""Bureau of Labor Statistics"":http://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.nr0.htm (BLS) reported Friday.

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Across the United States, 26 states recorded unemployment rate increases in August, while 12 states and the District of Columbia posted decreases. Unemployment didn't change month-to-month in the remaining 12 states.

BLS also reported that non-farm payroll employment increased in 28 states, with Texas, Florida, and Missouri leading the pack in month-over-month increases. Meanwhile, Virginia, D.C., and Washington led the 21 states that saw a decline in employment. Colorado was the only state with no changes reported.

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Regionally, the West continued to record the highest unemployment in August, posting 9.4 percent. The Midwest once again reported the lowest rate at 7.5 percent. Over the month, the Northeast experienced the only ""statistically significant"" change in unemployment rate, a 0.2 percent increase.

Meanwhile, among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific continued to report the highest jobless rate, posting 10.0 percent in August. The West North Central registered the lowest rate at 5.9 percent.

In terms of state-by-state unemployment rate, Nevada again placed highest among the states with 12.1 percent. It was followed by Rhode Island and California, which posted 10.7 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively. North Dakota continued its trend of low unemployment, recording 3.0 percent.

In total, 21 states reported jobless rates significantly lower than the national average of 8.1 percent, while 12 had ""measurably higher"" rates, and 17 states and D.C. had rates that weren't appreciably different.

Of the 17 states that reported statistically significant year-over-year changes in unemployment, only New York recorded an increase (increasing 0.8 percentage point).

About Author: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.
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