13 States Now Have 10% Unemployment

A picture is worth a thousands words, and this map shows the loss of a couple of hundreds of thousands of jobs. This map shows the current unemployment in each of the 50 states, and in 13 of them, that rate is above 10%.

At least in part, this map shows the immediate impact of the shutdown of much of the US auto industry. With most GM and Chrysler plants idled beginning in early may, a large number of parts suppliers have followed suit. As a consequence, the industrial region around the Great Lakes has seen unemployment jump to heights not seen since the late 1970s.

As much as it may be nice to believe that the great "recession" is nearing an end, there is little good to find on the employment front. Even if the economy picks up, employment is a lagging indicator. That simply means that it takes several months of sustained growth for firms to make the decision to begin to hire individuals. Further, unemployment carries an economic curse of its own. People who are out of work in general cut back on their spending, which reduces demand. These means that other people lose their jobs. Rinse and repeat until you hit a point at which demand begins to pick up.

Looking at unemployment over the past three months, it's clear that it's going to be a while until that happens. More and more people are losing their jobs. This can be seen by looking at the unemployment maps for the past three months.

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

Even in the swath from Texas up through the Plains States that has largely been spared the worst of the recession, unemployment has begun to increase to levels not seen seen since the 1980s.

And as commodities buying by the Chinese government ends, it's likely that states exporting raw materials will see employment drop as prices begin to fall. And when we look at the increase in unemployment between April and May we see that West Virginia, a state producing large amounts of coal, has seen unemployment jump from 7.5% to 8.6%, a 1.1% increase.

More ominously, with tourism in the tank, and reduced demand for raw materials, the beginnings of trouble in the upper Mountain West can be seen in states like Wyoming, Idaho, and North Dakota. This is an area that has fared relatively well being afflicted with neither a housing bubble nor a collapse of manufacturing employment. North Dakota benefited greatly from the run up in oil prices last year, as exploration and small field production brought many jobs to the state.

Now that looks to be drying up. Unemployment rose from 4% to 4.4% between April and May in North Dakota, meaning that 10% more people are unemployed. While many states have seen the unemployment rate jump by far more that .4%, few start from as low a base. And when we look at increases in unemployment in this way, we see that trouble is brewing in the upper Mountain West.

Things are looking bad, and likely to get worse. Unemployment is unlikely to start falling before the start of 2010. If unemployment in Michigan continues to increase at the same month over month pace as from the beginning of the recession, it will enter 2010 with a 16.6% unemployment rate. And 23 states will have unemployment over 10%.



Crossposted at

I'm getting personally scared shitless

I'm a consultant and today I responded to a host of "gigs" on craigslist, which normally I consider "beneath me" looking to just get some extra cash because it's so bad.

Not a single one responded. Unreal, I mean these are trivial tasks and I was offering trivial fees too.

middle, can you do EP a favor and when you list your series, point to your blog and posts over at EP.

Did you know DK is now showing up in the Google news aggregator?

I'm wondering how the hell to get EP in there since often the posts are original, well researched material.

I'll do that

it's mostly for ease that I link to Daily Kos. I'll link here next time.

On the google news, DKos was on there during 2005, but was removed because it was though to be opinion, not news.

As for getting Economic Populist included go to this link, and they can start the process of determining whether we should be included.

these figures are way above economists estimates

Bear in mind the consensus was unemployment would continue to get worst way into 2010, but it wasn't supposed to hit this high until then.

So as midtowng put so eloquently, I do believe we're being served up a huge shit sandwich.

Now maybe someone is going to demand every Stimulus dollar be spent on hiring an American instead of funding offshore outsourcing and big MNCs (which it is!).

China joins in:

Beijing orders 'Buy China'.

Why the hell not - we, the American people, ultimately have to pay for this stimulus not Canadians? F*ck free trade.

of course they are

and I imagine if we dig around in Canadian domestic policy, we will find a host of "buy Canada" and other subsidies, etc.

That is just such bullshit and shows that we are the country most run by multinational corporate lobbyists, lobbyists in general, hence we can't get any stupid sane policy...

these damn lobbyists and bought and paid for politicians continually muck it up.

How about health care? You see these people really analyzing the system for cost reductions and going from there in design, with the caveat of providing the best health care available? Hell no, it's turned into political Calvin ball.

Like everything else. They do not even sit down and read the bills, analyze for the consequences. I have a TBD to also check out the CBO forecast and projection hit/miss ratio.

Speaking of CBO and health care.

From the Director's Blog:

In the absence of significant changes in policy, rising costs for health care will cause federal spending to grow much faster than the economy, putting the federal budget on an unsustainable path.

At least they acknowledge the status quo won't work. So that makes any republican proposal irrelevant.

From one of biggest MNC:

Robert, you mentioned this before about a disconnect between EI and reality. This guy seems to agree.

General Electric Co. Vice Chairman John Rice said he isn’t seeing an increase in orders even as U.S. economic statistics suggest the world’s largest economy may soon shift to a recovery.

“I am not particularly of the green shoots group yet,” Rice said today to the Atlanta Press Club, referring to a phrase used by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke that described signs of a nascent recovery. “I have not seen it in our order patterns yet. At the macro level, there may be statistics suggesting the economy is starting to turn. I am not seeing it yet.”



1. did they land "Stimulus contracts?
2. are they moving that technology/jobs to India?
3. are they using H-1B and L-1 workers from India to do those jobs in the U.S.?

Same question for IBM.

Looks like we have some investigative citizen journalism to do. If you want to go digging, we'd be thrilled if you wrote it up to be sure.

Of course we have so many shit sandwiches going on at the same time, major "regulatory reform", health care, the job situation, it's hard to really dig into every single one, so we could use more in depth posts to be sure.

Middle is doing a great job with these unemployment stats (so is everyone else frankly)..

manfrommiddletown read this comment

your lycos email address is bouncing. No way to get a hold of you!

I didn't check it for a while

I changed to a gmail account manfromiddletown@gmail.com.

I didn't check my Lycos for about a month and it shut down.