Saturday Sep 22, 201201:17 PM GMT
Unemployment rises in more than half of states
Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:15PM
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Unemployment rates in August rose in 26 American states from July, the Labor Department said Friday, the latest evidence that hiring remains tepid.


Nationwide, employers added only 96,000 jobs in August. That's below July's gain of 141,000 and the average of 226,000 jobs a month added in the January-March quarter.


The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.1% last month from 8.3% in July. But that was only because many people gave up looking for work. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively searching for jobs.


The rate in Michigan rose to 9.4% from 9%. The rate ticked up a tenth of a point to 12.1% in Nevada, which has the highest unemployment in the nation. GOP nominee Mitt Romney campaigned in Nevada on Friday.


Unemployment rates also rose in five other battleground states: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Iowa.


Unemployment was flat in three closely contested states rich in electoral votes: Florida, Virginia and Ohio.


The rate in Florida held steady at 8.8%. Ohio's rate stayed at 7.2%, and unemployment in Virginia was unchanged at 5.9%. Both rates also stayed well below the national average, as did the rates in Iowa (5.5%), New Hampshire (5.7%) and Wisconsin (7.5%). Detroit Free Press



U.S. households saw incomes shrink for a second straight year in 2011 as the economy struggles to recover from the Great Recession, according to a Census Bureau report released Thursday, Sept, 20.


The income of the typical U.S. family fell or was flat in almost every state last year, with the drop particularly steep in places where the economy has been hit hard by the housing bust.


The median annual household income-the point on the income scale at which half earn more and half earn less-fell in 18 states in 2011 from a year earlier after adjusting for inflation.


Nationally, the median income dropped by 1.3% to $50,502 in 2011. A separate report last week reported a slightly different median income level, but either way, the number is at a level last seen in the mid-1990s, continuing a long period of stagnant or falling wages since an all-time peak in 1999.


The latest Census report shows that despite 2011's marking the second full year of the recovery, poverty continued to rise in many regions.


An estimated 335,760 people fell into poverty in California alone last year, pushing up the state's poverty rate to 16.6%. Poverty is defined as an annual income of $23,021 or lower for a family of four. WSJ


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