15 Worst States to Find Work

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CareerBuilder.com

While many factors come into play as reason why you might not be landing a job -- the economy being the No. 1 reason to speak of -- one thing job seekers often don't think of as being a cause is the state they live in.

State unemployment rates play a huge role in whether or not you are likely to find work; the higher the unemployment rate, the more difficult it is to find a job. With today's national unemployment rate at a dismal 6.7 percent, there aren't many states with unemployment rates much less than that.

The latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics* showed six states recording rates of 8 percent or more. Overall, nine states had significantly higher jobless rates than the average and 16 had similar rates. Michigan recorded the highest unemployment rate at 9.6 percent, followed closely by Rhode Island at 9.3 percent.

The largest over-the-month numerical decrease in employment was in Florida, which lost 58,600 jobs, followed by North Carolina, California, Michigan and Georgia. North Carolina saw the largest over-the-month percentage cut in employment (1.1 percent), followed by Michigan, Idaho and Rhode Island.

Forty-five states and the District of Columbia had considerable jobless rate increases since November 2007. Rhode Island had the highest rate increase over the year (4.1 percent), followed by North Carolina (3.2 percentage points), Georgia and Idaho (3 percentage point each). Twelve other states and the District of Columbia recorded over-the-year increases of 2 percentage points or more and 29 states had smaller, but still significant, increases from 2007. Only five states posted jobless rates in November 2008 that were much different than last year.

Here are 15 states with unemployment rates significantly higher than the national average and that have seen momentous rate increases since last year. If you're having trouble finding a job and you live in one of the following states, know that you might not be the (only) reason behind your unemployment:

1. California ... 8.4 percent

November 2007: 5.7 percent

Over-the-year rate change: 2.7 percent

Mean annual salary: $45,990

2. District of Columbia ... 8.0 percent

November 2007: 5.7 percent

Over-the-year rate change: 2.3 percent

Mean annual salary: $64,150

3. Florida ... 7.3 percent

November 2007: 4.4 percent

Over-the-year rate change: 2.9 percent

Mean annual salary: $37,260

4. Georgia ... 7.5 percent

November 2007: 4.5 percent

Over-the-year rate change: 3 percent

Mean annual salary: $38,320

5. Illinois ... 7.3 percent

November 2007: 5.3 percent

Over-the-year rate change: 2 percent

Mean annual salary: $43,050

6. Kentucky ... 7.0 percent

November 2007: 5.1 percent

Over-the-year rate change: 1.9 percent

Mean annual salary: $34,950

7. Michigan ... 9.6 percent

November 2007: 7.4 percent

Over-the-year rate change: 2.2 percent

Mean annual salary: $42,210

8. Mississippi ... 7.2 percent

November 2007: 6.2 percent

Over-the-year rate change: 1 percent

Mean annual salary: $31,730

9. Nevada ... 8.0 percent

November 2007: 5.1 percent

Over-the-year rate change: 2.9 percent

Mean annual salary: $16,750

10. North Carolina ... 7.9 percent

November 2007: 4.7 percent

Over-the-year rate change: 3.2 percent

Mean annual salary: $36,900

11. Ohio ... 7.3 percent

November 2007: 5.7 percent

Over-the-year rate change: 1.6 percent

Mean annual salary: $38,640

12. Oregon ... 8.1 percent

November 2007: 5.4 percent

Over-the-year rate change: 2.7 percent

Mean annual salary: $40,040

13. Rhode Island ... 9.3 percent

November 2007: 5.2 percent

Over-the-year rate change: 4.1 percent

Mean annual salary: $42,210

14. South Carolina ... 8.4 percent

November 2007: 6.1 percent

Over-the-year rate change: 2.3 percent

Mean annual salary: $34,650

15. Tennessee ... 6.9 percent

November 2007: 5.0 percent

Over-the-year rate change: 1.9 percent

Mean annual salary: $35,380


*According to the most recent numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on December 19, 2008.

**Mean annual salary per state, according to the most recent Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, May 2007, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Copyright 2009 CareerBuilder.com.

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