States Where It Is Hardest to Find Full-Time Work

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5. Illinois
> Underemployment rate: 16.1% (tied-4th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 9.0% (7th highest)
> Gross domestic product: 1.9% (25th lowest)
> Income per capita: $44,815 (16th highest)

Illinois’ housing market reveals the poor state of economic health in the state: over a quarter of homes with mortgages have negative equity. Between 2007 and 2012, home prices saw a 28.6% decline, worse than only three other states. Jobs in Illinois are faring no better. The unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country. Employment growth was also slower than two thirds of states in 2012. This month, the Chicago Tribune reported filings with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, which said about 400 workers were told in July they might be laid off.

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4. Michigan
> Underemployment rate: 16.1% (tied-4th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 8.9% (8th highest)
> Gross domestic product: 2.3% (18th highest)
> Income per capita: $37,497 (16th lowest)

Like many states with high underemployment, Michigan home prices fell significantly during the recession, but showed some signs of improvement in 2012. Average weekly wages grew by only 2.3% in 2012, the fifth-slowest growth among states. Reflecting the desperate state of employment in the state, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced last month its approval of incentives to companies planning expansions in Michigan. CBS reports the projects may generate nearly $86 million in investments, and add 600 new jobs.

3. Oregon
> Underemployment rate: 16.9%
> Unemployment rate: 8.7% (10th highest)
> Gross domestic product: 4.0% (3rd highest)
> Income per capita: $38,786 (18th lowest)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oregon’s 12-month average unemployment rate of 8.7 was the 10th-worst in the country. It’s underemployment rate was even worse, with 16.9% of workers either unemployed or involuntarily employed less than full-time. While jobs grew more than most states in 2012, the state is still short by roughly 70,000 jobs compared to its pre-recession levels. Average weekly wage in Oregon is not far below the national average. However wage growth has been slower than most of the country, growing just 2.5% in 2012.

2. California
> Underemployment rate: 18.3%
> Unemployment rate: 9.5% (tied-3rd highest)
> Gross domestic product: 3.5% (6th highest)
> Income per capita: $44,980 (15th highest)

California was one of the fastest growing states in the nation in 2012. Jobs grew by 3.3% last year, more than all but two other states. Home prices began to rebound as well, rising by 12.9% from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2012, more than all but two other states. But over the 12 months ending with the second quarter of 2013, the state had among the highest unemployment and underemployment rates in the country. Also, while the state has done well in adding jobs so far through 2013, it still has yet to replace about half a million jobs lost during the recession.

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1. Nevada
> Underemployment rate: 19.0%
> Unemployment rate: 10.4% (the highest)
> Gross domestic product: 1.5% (20th lowest)
> Income per capita: $37,361 (14th lowest)

Home prices in Nevada fell by 46.6% between 2007 and 2012, the worst decline in the nation, according to CoreLogic. In 2012, employment in Nevada saw a 1.9% growth, which was 14th in the country. Jobs have been created in Nevada in some of the largest industries, particularly leisure and hospitality, which reported a 2.3% increase this June, according to Nevada’s Research and Analysis Bureau. But the state is still down more than 100,000 jobs compared to pre-recession levels. Some are skeptical of the job growth in the state, noting that while jobs are being created, over half are for low-wage positions. Wage growth in 2012 was 16th lowest in the country.