Discuss as:

3 states report record unemployment

From NBC's Ali Weinberg
Twenty-three states reported unemployment-rate increases in September, with three registering record job losses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly employment summary.

Nevada (at 13.3%), Rhode Island (at 13.0%), and Florida (11.0%) all posted their HIGHEST unemployment rates since 1976, when the BLS began monitoring the rates.

Despite Nevada's record rate, the chief ecnomist in the state's Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation said the over-the-month increase was the smallest since March 2008. In Florida, however, economists predicted unemployment would not reach 11% until mid-2010, which means the rate could still increase further.

Michigan again had the highest unemployment rate in the country, at 15.3%, up a tenth of a percent from last month. New York lost the most jobs last month (81,700), followed by Texas (44,700), California (39,300), Wisconsin (21,700), and Michigan (21,500).

Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, and Wisconson all reported measurable jobless-rate DECREASES over the month. But local economists attribute that to the numbers of unemployed who have dropped out of the labor force rather than an uptick in jobs.

Minnesota's rate dropped partly because of record numbers of unemployed returning to school, spurring an enrollment surge in the state's 23 colleges. Dan McElroy, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, was quoted by NBC affiliate KARE as saying, "Having the unemployment rate go down from 8% to 7.3% is a good thing. I would be happier if we had also announced a sharp increase in jobs in the state, which was not the case."