I am very curious about the unemployment rate in the US. Look at the map. The highest rate of unemployment is:
1. Michigan: 14.6 (Auto Industry)
2. Nevada: 13.0 (Gambling, Tourism)
3. Rhode Island: 12.9 (Fishing; AgJobs)
4. South Carolina: 12.6 (Textile; AgJobs)
5. California: 12.4 (AgJobs; Entertainment; Technology)
6. D.C.: 12.1 (Fed Gov & Professional Jobs)
Population doesn't seem to be a factor. Both the most populated state, California (37M) and Rhode Island (.49M) smallest state are in the top 5. Average Salary doesn't seem to be a differentiator. DC's average annual salary is 92.5K. South Carolina is 40K.
In some states, their Top Industry is a major factor. The devastation of the Auto Industry wrecked havoc on Michigan's economy and unemployment ratio ranking number 1 at 14.6%. The status of our country's overall economy wrecked havoc on Nevada's Gambling/Tourism industries. Rhode Island's small size may be a factor. One major layoff sends their rates into double digits. Experts say the reason for South Carolina's high rate is due to their non-unionization, making it easier for business to release their employees with little or no notice. Additionally, the NAACP has boycotted SC over the last several years due to their flying of the Confederate Flag at their state capital. They ask all minorities, minority owned businesses, not to frequent or purchase from that state. The NCAA also refuses to allow NCAA events in that state. With all of these boycotts and protests by these groups, it is sure to have an economic impact on their state.
California has their own unique problems. According to wiki, one major reason is the number of rich people in California: "in 2004, the richest 3% of state taxpayers paid approximately 60% of all state taxes. The taxable income of this population is highly dependent upon capital gains, which has been severely impacted by the stock market declines of this period." Additionally, Technology is a major factor: "California's economy is very dependent on trade and international related commerce accounts for approximately one-quarter of the state’s economy. In 2008, California exported $144 billion worth of goods, up from $134 billion in 2007 and $127 billion in 2006. Computers and electronic products are California's top export, accounting for 42 percent of all the state's exports in 2008."
However, when all is said and done, will Americans move to another state to find a job that pays less and has them work physically harder than their previous jobs? Additionally, does the fact that Americans are aging and the Boomer are rapidly approaching retirement age add into this equation? I think it does. Take for example an unemployed auto worker. Will he move to Texas to work on a construction job for $14 an hour in Texas' brutal summer heat (100+ degrees)? Will the unemployed Textile Worker in South Carolina move up to Northern Wisconsin to pick fruit and vegetables for $8 - $10 an hour? For those who say migrant laborers are impacting the unemployment rate in America, I say they are wrong. They have not studied the issues. The high Unemployment rate is NOT due to migrant laborers working. The Unemployment rate is primarily due to offshore outsourcing. We let Big Business do it and they do it. Americans, especially aging Americans, do not want the jobs, like I saw today, of construction work being subcontracted out to small companies run by ole boys who pick up day laborers.