Michigan jobless rate again tops nation

EAST LANSING, MI – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says Michigan once again has the nation's highest jobless rate. Michigan's jobless rate has led all other states for most of the past two years.

Twenty six states and the District of Columbia reported an increase in jobless rates in July. Michigan's actually fell very slightly, but its 15% unemployment rate was still the nation's highest. And it's for the same reasons that it's remained so high for so long, says Ken Lavasseur. He's the senior economist for the U-S Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Lavasseur says Michigan's lost more jobs than other states in this recession. And Michigan never regained the jobs it lost in the last recession at the beginning of this decade.

"Most of the nation recovered after that, during the expansion, the recovery phase of the business cycle," he says. "Michigan for all intents and purposes did not recover."

Lavasseur says most of the Midwest is facing high unemployment. Neighboring Indiana and Ohio are among the 15 states with double-digit unemployment.