We already knew that the labor market didn't have a very good month in July: 131,000 jobs were lost. The news on a state-by-state basis wasn't any better. Last month, 45 states had fewer employed people, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was largely a result of the labor market shrinking by more than half a million people. Consequently, the unemployment rate only increased in 14 states and declined in 18. Meanwhile, 25 states had more unemployed residents, while the other half had fewer. Overall, the data was mixed, but indicated little change compared to June.
Last month, there wasn't much movement in most states' unemployment rates. Louisiana was the only one that saw its rate increase by more than 0.1%. It went up by 0.2% to 7.2% -- still well below the national average of 9.5%. On the flip side, only one state's unemployment rate fell by more than 0.2%. Alabama's dropped 0.6% to 9.7%, slightly above the national average.
As far as the worst states go, Nevada's labor market continued to deteriorate further in July. Its unemployment rate rose 0.1% to hit 14.3%. It's slowly approaching Michigan's December high of 14.5%. Speaking of Michigan, the job market there continued to improve last month, with unemployment falling 0.1% to 13.1%. It's still the second worst, however. Rounding out the five-worst were the usual suspects: California, Rhode Island, and Florida, with unemployment rates of 12.3%, 11.9%, and 11.5%, respectively.