Michigan, Indiana, Illinois Lead U.S. Jobs Improvement in July

Michigan and other Rust Belt states led the improvement in the U.S. employment picture in July, showing that recent labor-market pickup is uneven across the country.

Michigan’s unemployment rate fell 6.2 percentage points from June, the most among the 30 states with a lower rate, to 8.7% as motor vehicle production accelerated, Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed Friday. Jobless rates also fell in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. One notable outlier was Pennsylvania, which was among only nine states with a higher unemployment rate in the month, rising 0.5 percentage point.

The report provides more detail on the labor market in July, when employers added a better-than-expected 1.76 million jobs. The data also highlight the inequalities opening up between states as some improve faster while other economies stall.

Massachusetts had the highest unemployment rate in July at 16.1%, followed by New York at 15.9%, a record high for the state in data going back to 1976. New Mexico’s was also at an all-time high of 12.7%.

Unemployment rates were stable in 11 states and the District of Columbia, the report showed.

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