State Unemployment Maps for August 2009 - Unemployment increases in 27 States

A picture is worth a 1000 words.

Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia reported over-the-month unemployment rate increases, 16 states registered rate decreases, and 7 states had no rate change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the year, jobless rates increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The national unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent in August, up 0.3 percentage point from July and 3.5 points from August 2008.

The overall national unemployment rate is 9.7%. Only 8 states gained jobs, 42 states continue to lose jobs.

unemployment map August 2009
Src: BLS, Unemployment Rates, August 2009, click on the map to enlarge


unemployment map August 2009
Src: BLS, Percent Employment Change from July 2009 to August 2009, click on the map to enlarge


The second graph is confusing for the BLS often switches from unemployment rate to "decline in employment" which is the inverse. So when you see an increase in unemployment rates, you see a decrease in employment, which is what the second map shows.

Oh the games people play with statistics and perceptions. Don't forget to click on the graphs to enlarge them.

The full report is attached to this blog and is available here (pdf).

The raw excel data and other versions are available at the BLS.

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Fix the Primary Problem Mr Obama -- We need Jobs

There are jobs but the trend is to hire cheap foreign labor under the H1-b, L1, H2-B, EB1, EB2 and EB3 visas. What companies are doing is bypassing the American workforce.

Mr. Obama, this is a question for you - do you have the courage to stand up to big companies like Microsoft and tell them NO MORE - when it comes to their demands for more visas?

Ask them how the Internet was built without H-1B visa holders. Ask them how iPods were created without H-1B visa holders. Ask them how innovation in other businesses and industries continues without H-1B visa holders. Ask them why their business model is based on this huge assist from the government. Ask them what they are doing to make this so-called shortage of skilled workers temporary.

Ask them what they intend to do about giving Americans a chance to participate in this economy. Ask them what they are willing to do to help our own youngsters become better educated.

Speaking of education, ask them about the communication skills and critical thinking abilities of H-1B workers. Do they really want American workers who are clones of the Indian ones?

As an Indian-American, let me tell you this - America should NOT even try to emulate the Indian education system. It is based on rote learning, and extreme pressure to succeed. You think No Child Left Behind is bad? The Indian system is like NCLB on steroids - they teach ONLY to the test.

Mr. Obama, I am looking to you to change the terms of this debate - ultimately, it is about whether or not WE Americans are a nation of citizens, or are we just consumers and cogs in the giant wheel owned and operate by the big corporations. Why is it okay for the Chinese and Indians to be nationalistic, but not okay for Americans to even try to take care of their own?

It is the government's role to take the long view, to look out for and protect all the CITIZENS. It is the government's role to build a nation, and not just the economy for the chosen few.

What will you change when it comes to helping and protecting American workers?