Unemployment increased in 44 states last month, proving that the rise in joblessness is being felt by everyone, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
Alabama and Alaska were hit the hardest, both registering a 0.5 percent increase in jobless claims, according to data released on Friday by the Labor Department. Meanwhile, California and Michigan led the 31 states that experienced payroll increases.
“Across the nation, the unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent in July, a five-month high, even as employment increased by the most since February,” Bloomberg reports.
“Faster hiring is needed to spur consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, and to help reduce elevated joblessness that remains a concern for Federal Reserve policy makers,” the report adds.
But — but — what about growing payrolls?
The gains are “probably not enough to make really significant sort of progress on improving unemployment rates,” Jeremy Lawson, senior U.S. economist at BNP Paribas in New York, told Bloomberg. “Firms are waiting on more clarity as to what general direction things are headed.”