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Unemployment rates rise in most states in 2010

Unemployment rates rise in most states in 2010 (by Ruth Mantell)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Average unemployment rates climbed in 31 states and the District of Columbia in 2010, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell in 18 states, and was unchanged in one state. Nevada had the highest unemployment rate at 14.9%. Next came Michigan at 12.5% -- 2010 was the first year since 2005 that Michigan did not have the highest rate - followed by California at 12.4%. The three states with the lowest rates were North Dakota at 3.9%, Nebraska at 4.7% and South Dakota at 4.8%. Nationally, the rate was 9.6%, and 27 states had rates that were significantly less than the U.S. level, while 10 states had rates significantly above that level. Also, the Labor Department reported that the employment-population ratios -- the proportion of the civilian non-institutional population at least 16-years old that is employed - fell in 43 states and the District of Columbia, rose in three states, and didn't change in four states.