Nevada Maintained Record-High, Nation-Leading Unemployment of 14.4 Percent in September, Says Labor Department

By Terence P. Jeffrey | October 25, 2010 | 12:58 PM EDT

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., greets supporters in Las Vegas, on Oct. 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

Nevada maintained an unemployment rate of 14.4 percent in September, the highest unemployment rate of any state and the highest unemployment rate in the history of Nevada, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor.

Nevada’s unemployment rate first hit 14.4 percent in August and stayed there for the month of September, according to data released by the Labor Department on Friday.

Since Sen. Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) became Senate Majority Leader in January 2007, the unemployment rate in Nevada has not declined in any single month. Sometimes in the period since January 2007 it has remained at the same level from one month to the next--such as from this August to September, when it maintained its record level of 14.4 percent--but it has never declined.

The last time Nevada’s unemployment rate did decline from month to month was from November to December 2005, when it dropped from 4.3 percent to 4.2 percent.

In January 2007, when Reid became Senate Majority Leader, Nevada’s unemployment rate was 4.4 percent—-a rate it had maintained for eight straight months since the previous June.

Nevada’s unemployment stayed at 4.4 percent for February and March of 2007, then began climbing.

Over the eight-year course of George W. Bush's presidency, Nevada’s unemployment rate almost doubled. In January 2001, when Bush was inaugurated, Nevada’s unemployment rate was 4.9 percent. In January 2009, when President Barack Obama was inaugurated, it was 9.6 percent.

By February 2009, when Congress enacted President Obama’s $787-billion economic stimulus law, the unemployment rate in Nevada had climbed to 10.1 percent.

Since President Obama’s signed his stimulus law, Nevada’s unemployment rate has climbed another climbed 4.3 percentage points to its current historical high of 14.4 percent.

Nevada’s 14.4 percent unemployment rate in September led all 50 states. Michigan unemployment rate of 13.0 percent was second highest among the states.

Unlike Nevada’s unemployment rate, Michigan’s has trended down this year after peaking at 14.5 percent in December 2009.