Nevada continues to have the highest unemployment rate at 12 percent, according to state data for July released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Rhode Island and California posted the next-highest rates at 10.8 and 10.7 percent. North Dakota had the lowest jobless rate at just 3 percent.
The national unemployment rate is 8.3 percent, a statistic that is figuring to play a large role in the upcoming presidential election. The rate has stayed above 8 percent for 42 months, the longest stretch at that level in modern times.
As a group 23 states had an unemployment rate significantly lower than the U.S. average while eight states had much higher rates. Nineteen states and Washington, D.C. have rates that are about the same as the national average.
Here is the unemployment rate in key states in the 2012 presidential election:
Nevada — 12%
North Carolina — 9.6%
Florida — 8.8%
Colorado — 8.3%
Wisconsin — 7.3%
Ohio — 7.2%
Virginia — 5.9%
New Hampshire — 5.4%
Iowa — 5.3%
While this reports unemployment, underemployment – including people who want a job but have given up looking, or who want full-time work but have settled for part time – is much higher. The BLS figures this on a quarterly basis for the states; the last report released late last month showed it’s 22.1 percent in Nevada, and 20.3 percent in California. The table is here in the “U6″ column.