Just a few months ago we were telling you about silver linings in the jobs market, but these days those are almost impossible to find. And, a new report from the Labor Department doesn't help.
Unemployment rates rose in more than half the states in August - for the third straight month. Only 12 states reported an improving picture.
The story is the worst in Nevada. It has the highest unemployment in the nation - the rate jumped a half a percent just from July to nearly 13.5%! Despite being home to one of the hottest tourist destinations in the country, foreclosures are rampant and the construction industry at a standstill.
The same can be said for California and Michigan - with similarly high unemployment rates.
It's not all bad news - thanks to booming oil and manufacturing industries - North Dakota continues to have the lowest unemployment rate at 3.5%.
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Nebraska and South Dakota are not far behind. Due to the ongoing cuts at state and local governments - New York, Georgia and Washington D.C. reported the biggest job losses.
Minnesota posted the biggest job gain in August, hiring more than 28,000 people. But that's a bit misleading, since most of those jobs were workers who were temporarily laid off during the government shutdown in July.
The bottom line: too many people are still without jobs. And worse, many aren't even looking for one anymore.
As we debate a host of issues in D.C. and state capitols across the country, we can't lose sight of the goal: putting Americans back to work, and therefore our economy back on track.