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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Unemployment Up in Only Four States, Down in Nearly Half

For a fresh perspective on America’s unemployment problem, check out the Wall St. Journal’s post by Sara Murray, “Jobless Rate Lower or Flat in Most States” and accompanying rollover graphic widget. As Murray’s post explains,

Joblessness declined in nearly half of all U.S. states last month, the Labor Department said Friday.
Compared to a month earlier, unemployment fell in 24 states, rose in 13 and Washington, D.C. and was flat in another 13 states.
The unemployment rate has fallen significantly below the national average of 9.1% in May in 25 states. Rates were largely the same as the national average in 20 states and Washington, D.C. But five states — California, Florida, Michigan, Nevada and Rhode Island — continued to suffer from double-digit unemployment…For the year, 43 states and Washington, D.C. have seen a drop in their unemployment rates. Just four experienced an increase in joblessness and three states had no change.

The post’s color-coded map provides a visual sense of the geography of American joblessness, and mouse hovering reveals the numbers — which states are suffering the highest rates (NV, CA, FL, MS, SC, MI and RI) and the one state that is doing exceptionally well — ND with 3.2 percent unemployment. Don’t everyone pack for North Dakota just yet, however. Apparently there is a serious housing shortage in the midst of the job-creating oil drilling boom. The map widget also includes back and forward arrow widget that gives a nice visual sense of the monthly trend line, which does suggest a slow recovery in many states.
The map does make you wonder if maybe the recovery could benefit from targeting specific states for job creation.

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