Monthly job losses cut across 41 states
More than 80% of states reported jobs disappearing in September, with Michigan suffering the highest losses, according to a government report.
The number of states suffering monthly job losses more than doubled in September, with Michigan losing the greatest number of jobs, according to a government report released Tuesday.
Private sector and government jobs fell in 41 states and the District of Columbia last month, the Labor Department said. By comparison, only 18 states reported monthly job losses in August.
The widespread job losses are a sign of a recession, said Bob Brusca, an economist at Fact and Opinion Economics in New York.
"You expect to see job losses across the board, across the country," Brusca said.
The numbers released Tuesday underline the grim condition of the nation's job market.
Earlier this month, the Labor Department reported that net payrolls nationwide declined by 159,000 in September, the ninth straight month the U.S. economy has lost jobs. The unemployment rate remained unchanged from the prior month at 6.1%.
Eleven states reported jobless rates higher than the national average. Rhode Island posted the highest at 8.8%, an increase from 8.5% in August. Michigan had the second highest rate, 8.7%, which fell from 8.9% the month before.
Michigan lost 28,300 jobs in September and has lost 77,900 jobs in the past year. Georgia lost the second greatest number of jobs - 22,300 - down 61,100 over the past year. Louisiana shed 17,500 jobs in September, a figure not 'substantially' affected by Hurricane Ike, according to the report.
Michigan, home to the country's auto industry, has reported job losses as auto manufacturing plants close and automakers discuss mergers. Just last week, General Motors (GM, Fortune 500) announced that it would close a metal stamping plant near Grand Rapids, Mich., by the end of next year, costing about 1,340 hourly jobs.
Brusca said it's not surprising that Midwestern states have shed a high number of jobs.
"The Midwest has been having more trouble with jobs, that's where manufacturing industries are concentrated," Brusca said. "With the treacherous situation with the auto industry, it'd be surprising if they didn't report job loses," he said.
Nine states posted job gains. Missouri, the state reporting the largest monthly increase in employment, added 3,800 jobs. It was followed by Nebraska, Wyoming, West Virginia and Virginia.