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Unemployment Rates Lower in June

Regional and state unemployment rates were generally lower in June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

HIGHEST RATES: Nevada again reported the highest jobless rate, 14.2 percent in June. Next were Michigan (13.2 percent), California (12.3 percent) and Rhode Island (12.0 percent).

LOWEST RATES: North Dakota continued to have the lowest rate of unemployment, at 3.6 percent, followed by South Dakota (4.5 percent) and Nebraska (4.8 percent).

In June, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 21 states and the District of Columbia, decreased in 27 states, and 2 states had no change.

The largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in Texas (+14,000), Kentucky (+6,200), Arkansas (+6,000), Louisiana (+5,800), and North Carolina (+5,100).

Montana recorded the largest over-the-month percentage increase in employment (+1.0 percent), followed by Alaska (+0.9 percent), and Arkansas and Vermont (+0.5 percent each).

The largest over-the-month employment decreases were in California (-27,600), New York (-22,500), Tennessee (-20,800), Arizona (-11,700), and New Mexico (-11,200).

The largest over-the-month percentage decreases in employment were in New Mexico (-1.4 percent), Hawaii (-1.0 percent), and Tennessee (-0.8percent).

The West reported the highest regional jobless rate in June, 10.7 percent, while the Northeast recorded the lowest rate, 8.8 percent.

Meanwhile, wages inched up compared to a year ago, according to a separate report today from the bureau.

Median weekly earnings of the nation's 99.8 million full-time wage and salary workers were $740 in the second quarter of 2010 (not seasonally adjusted). This was 0.8 percent higher than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 1.8 percent in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) over the same period.