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3 States Where Employment Prospects Are Dim

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Last Thursday, the Department of Labor released its weekly initial unemployment insurance claims data , which showed an increase of 13,000 from the week previous. On the bright side, the four-week moving average showed an actual decrease in claims, and the numbers reflect the fewest initial weekly filings in over five years.

Overall, this is great news. But unemployment is still stubbornly high, and the government noted recently that 28 states saw their rates of unemployment rise as job creation stalled. Many states are still struggling; here are three states in particular that are having an especially difficult time stamping out joblessness.

1. Nevada
Nevada's unemployment rate, at 9.5%, is the highest in the country. The state was one of the hardest-hit by the housing crisis, leading the nation in foreclosures in January 2011. Nearly 168,000 abandoned homes dotted the state's landscape in 2010, representing approximately one-seventh of the housing stock.

As the bottom dropped out of the housing market, jobs evaporated. While the current jobless rate is a vast improvement over the January 2010 rate of 15.3%, progress is slow. Though state officials boast that Nevada created 22,000 jobs from January to July this year, the unemployment rate has stayed between 9.5% and 9.7% so far.

2. Arizona
Like Nevada, Arizona was taken down by the mortgage crisis and is still suffering the effects of a broken economy. The state is second only to Nevada in the percentage of jobs lost from late 2007 to the present, and it has failed to recover many of those positions. Currently, the state's jobs deficit is the fifth worst in the nation. Though the state's unemployment rate sits much lower than Nevada's, at 8%, the state acknowledges that over 15,000 jobs were lost in July.

3. Vermont
Although the Green Mountain State has the fifth-lowest rate of unemployment in the country, the jobs picture is looking less than stellar. The percentage of those without jobs rose in May, June, and July, with the latter move pushing the rate from 4.4% to the current 4.6%. The state's monthly survey showed a decrease of 500 employed persons from June to July, and a cumulative decline of nearly 4,400 since January 2012.

Recent research at the Public Assets Institute indicates that not only is Vermont slow in the job creation department, but an untoward number of workers in the 25 to 55 age bracket are simply dropping out of the labor force. As an analyst at the Institute notes, this fact is not indicative of a booming employment market.

As you can see, a state's official unemployment rate is not always an adequate measure of the true rate of joblessness, nor is it always a reliable benchmark of the health of that state's job market. The only real lesson here is this: If you are looking to relocate to a place where jobs are plentiful, research more than just the rate of unemployment. And cross these three states off your list.

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Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (0)

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On August 23, 2013, at 7:52 PM, popeye1250 wrote:

    I don't believe those figures for one second.

    I'm 63 and I've never seen so many people without jobs!

  • Report this Comment On August 23, 2013, at 9:32 PM, Ken767543 wrote:

    Nevada, isn't that Harry Reid's state? Just asking

  • Report this Comment On August 23, 2013, at 10:09 PM, roger142 wrote:

    Why is Vermont even on the list? People of all ages have given up looking for work. Vermont is more like a week end home state than a manufacturing economy.

    As for people over 50 looking for jobs, that applies to most areas now. Having a college degree does help, until the person has been unemployed more than 6 months, then they are back on the same level as high school graduates.

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 10:11 AM, d0little wrote:

    The Southern states must feel left out since one of the states is from the North. It seems that the Southern states get all of the negative publicity. I read on one web site it referred to the South as a "sub culture."

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 12:14 PM, ehiredworks wrote:

    Anyone needing to find a job needs to post their profile and resume on E-HIRED. There are millions of employers in the Unites States searching for candidates on E-HIRED Every day. Because there are millions of jobs not being applied for E-Hired is the place were job seekers post their profile on the web and employers can search them for free based on skills, salary requirements, location, education etc. All functions of E-Hired are free to all users, employers can post jobs and search candidates, and job seekers can post profiles, video resumes, photos, and traditional resumes as well as search job postings. E-Hired was started to assist veterans and their families find work after serving our Country. Now E-HIRED is free and open to all users.

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