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August jobless rates up in most states, Michigan No. 1

By Reuters Staff
September 19, 2008

Robots work on 2008 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUV frames on the assembly line at Ford Motor Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne

WASHINGTON, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Unemployment rates rose in most U.S. states in August, with Michigan again logging the highest rate of 8.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department reported on Friday.

Altogether, 44 states and the District of Columbia have recorded increases in jobless rates since July, with 24 states registering what the department deems “statistically significant” increases.

Rhode Island had the largest rise — up 3.4 percentage points — since August 2007. It also had the second-highest rate for the month at 8.5 percent. Illustrating how much the job landscape has changed since 2007, a total of 27 states and the District of Columbia posted over-the-year rate increases of 1.0 percentage point or more, the Labor Department said. South Dakota continued to be a bright spot, with the lowest unemployment rate of 3.3 percent in August.

Nationally, the unemployment rate stood at 6.1 percent in August. Since July, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 32
states and the District of Columbia. Louisiana added the most jobs at 9,400, followed by Texas with 6,800 jobs. Conversely, Georgia lost the most jobs at 26,200 — it lost nearly three times the amount of jobs that Louisiana gained — and recorded the largest month-on-month percentage drop of 0.6 percent.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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