A comparison of population figures and unemployment rates in the states where unemployment is highest and lowest shows that the jobs problem is worst in some of the most populous states–and the situation is not improving.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest report, joblessness increased in August in four of the five states where unemployment was highest. If the situation doesn’t improve in swing states such as Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin, President Obama may be left in the cold in the 2012 presidential election, Salon writer Andrew Leonard predicts. –ARK


The states with the five highest unemployment rates are Nevada (13.4 percent), California (12.1 percent), Michigan (11.2 percent), South Carolina (11.1 percent) and Florida (10.7 percent.) Nevada, California, Michigan and South Carolina all registered unemployment increases in August, compared to July. Florida held even.

The states with the lowest unemployment rates are North Dakota (3.5 percent), Nebraska (4.2 percent), South Dakota (4.7 percent), New Hampshire (5.3 percent) and Oklahoma (5.6 percent.)

The combined population of the five worst states: 73,864,261.

The combined population of the five best states: 8,380,933.

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