While all 50 states lost jobs in the Great Recession, Nevada, Florida and California suffered particularly steep losses that have resulted in significantly higher unemployment rates today than at start of the recession three years ago. The Interactive Map shows the latest state unemployment data for December 2010, the third anniversary of the start of the Great Recession, along with the change in the unemployment rate over that period. Nevada’s unemployment rate has risen 9.3 percentage points, to a current 14.5%, the highest in the nation. Florida’s has risen 7.3 percentage points to a current rate of 12.0%, and California’s has risen 6.7 percentage points to 12.5%. Nationwide, the unemployment rate was 5.0 in December 2007, peaked at 10.1% in October of 2009 and stood at 9.4% in December 2010. (New unemployment data for the month of January will be released on Friday).
Click on any state to see current unemployment rate and the increase since the start of the recession, below.
Although the recession officially ended in June 2009, all states have higher rates of unemployment today than when the downturn began. Ten states today have unemployment rates of 10% or higher, and 24 states and the District of Columbia have unemployment rates of 9% or higher. States with comparatively small rises in unemployment include Alaska, whose unemployment rate is up 1.9 percentage points since the start of the recession; New Hampshire, with a 2.1 percentage point rise; and Minnesota, up 2.3 percentage points. It is important to note that the states with the highest rates of unemployment are not always the ones that have seen the largest jump. Michigan’s unemployment rate of 11.7%, for example, is one of the nation’s highest, but since it started the recession with a comparatively high rate of 7.1%, it has not seen the most dramatic change.
A new paper, The Great Recession’s Long Tail, by Policy Analyst Rebecca Thiess, takes a more detailed look at the job market on the third anniversary of the start of the Great Recession.