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Michigan's jobless rate still the highest

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI – Michigan's unemployment rate of 15.3% was once again the highest in the nation last month. Nevada is in second place at a full two points lower than Michigan's rate. Nevada is struggling with a downturn in tourism and construction.

Michigan's unemployment increases have largely tracked the national increases since June. But the state suffered big job losses in the first half of the year.

Jim Rhein is with the state Department of Labor and Economic Growth.

"We really get the double-whammy," he says. "We've dealt with this restructuring in the auto industry, really, since 2001, and it really came to the forefront this year, and then you put the advent of the national recession and that's why we've been hurt more than most of the other places in the country."

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 22 other states and the District of Columbia posted unemployment rate increases. The jobless rate went down in 19 states and eight states were unchanged.
Every state and the District of Columbia has a higher jobless rate than it did in September of last year.

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