Thirty-seven states plus the District of Columbia had August unemployment rates that were at least as high as July, keeping U.S. unemployment at about 9.6%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said in a report today. High unemployment rates in the Western states offset job gains in the Southeast.

Last month, 27 states lost jobs, while 10 states and Washington, D.C., had no rate change from July, according to the report. Overall unemployment was down slightly from the 9.7% rate in August 2009, the BLS said.

The lack of U.S. employment progress reflects how the struggling economies in states such as California and Nevada offset job gains in parts of the Southeast. Nevada's 14.4% unemployment rate was that state's highest in at least 34 years, while California, the most populous U.S. state, had a 12.4% unemployment rate, according to the report. Alabama and Tennessee had the largest year-over-year percentage declines in unemployment.

Overall, the Western U.S. states had the highest regional unemployment rate at 10.8%, while the Northeast states' 8.8% was the lowest among U.S. regions.

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I feel bad for all those unemployed. I am doing exceedingly well despite these gloomy reports. I hope that the Bush tax cuts will not expire because that extra money I keep instead of paying taxes is being spent to stimulate the economy. My wife and I just returned from a lavish trip to France where we chartered a barge with friends in Burgandy. We then went wine tasting in Chianti- had private guides and drivers. Ate in great restaurants. If we had to pay more taxes, we'd be spending less. We're waiting to see what happens now before we decide to buy a new Mercedes.

September 21 2010 at 7:24 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply