Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Twenty-six states recorded unemployment rate increases, 12 states and the District of Columbia posted rate decreases, and 12 states had no change. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, seven states experienced increases, and one had no change. The national jobless rate edged down to 8.1 percent from July and was 1.0 percentage point lower than in August 2011.

The West continued to record the highest regional unemployment rate in August, 9.4 percent, while the Midwest again reported the lowest rate, 7.5 percent. Over the month, the Northeast experienced the only statistically significant unemployment rate change (+0.2 percentage point). Significant over-the-year rate changes were registered in the Midwest and West (-1.0 percentage point each) and South (-0.9 point).

Among the nine geographic divisions, the Pacific continued to report the highest jobless rate, 10.0 percent in August. The West North Central again registered the lowest rate, 5.9 percent. New England was the only division to experience a statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate change (+0.2 percentage point). Seven divisions had significant rate changes from a year earlier, all of which were decreases. The largest of these declines occurred in the East North Central and Pacific (-1.1 percentage points each).

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