G. Scott Thomas
Atlanta Business Chronicle 
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Seven states posted unemployment rates above 10 percent in February, as Georgia is inched toward the double digits, according to seasonally adjusted figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Georgia’s unemployment rate for February was a record high 9.3 percent. Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate also was 9.3 percent in February.
Michigan registered the nation’s worst rate, with 12 percent of its labor force out of work as of February 2009.
Also in double digits were South Carolina (11 percent), Oregon (10.8 percent), North Carolina (10.7 percent), California (10.5 percent), Rhode Island (10.5 percent), and Nevada (10.1 percent).
(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)
All seven of those states experienced rapid rises in unemployment during the past year. North Carolina’s increase was the sharpest in the nation, up 5.5 percentage points from its February 2008 jobless rate of 5.2 percent.
Unemployment increased by at least one percentage point in every single state and the District of Columbia.
North Carolina, Oregon and South Carolina were the only states with year-to-year jumps of more than five points.
Seven other states suffered upswings in unemployment of at least four percentage points during the past year: Alabama, California, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada and Rhode Island.