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In February, the West reported the highest regional jobless rate, 10.9 percent, while the Northeast recorded the lowest rate, 9.1 percent. This is according to data released by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific continued to report the highest jobless rate, 11.8 percent in February. The East North Central and East South Central divisions recorded the next highest rates, 11.3 and 11.0 percent, respectively. The Pacific rate, as well as the South Atlantic rate (10.5 percent), set new series highs. (All region, division, and state series begin in 1976.)
The West North Central division registered the lowest February jobless rate, 7.2 percent, followed by the West South Central, 7.9 percent.
Over the year, all four regions registered significant rate increases, the largest of which were in the South and West (+1.8 percentage points each).
Eight of the 9 divisions reported significant over-the-year rate increases. The largest of these occurred in the Pacific and South Atlantic (+2.0 percentage points each).
Among the States, Nevada and West Virginia recorded the largest jobless rate increases from February 2009 (+3.1 percentage points each), followed by Florida (+3.0 points). The District of Columbia also registered a large over-the-year unemployment rate increase (+3.1 percentage points). Thirty-five additional States had smaller, but also statistically significant, rate increases. The remaining 12 States reported jobless rates that were not appreciably different from those of a year earlier.
This data is from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program and is seasonally adjusted. To learn more, see "Regional and State Employment and Unemployment — February 2010" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL 10-0363.