A picture is worth a 1000 words.
Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia reported over-the-month unemployment rate increases, 16 states registered rate decreases, and 7 states had no rate change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the year, jobless rates increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The national unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent in August, up 0.3 percentage point from July and 3.5 points from August 2008.
The overall national unemployment rate is 9.7%. Only 8 states gained jobs, 42 states continue to lose jobs.
The second graph is confusing for the BLS often switches from unemployment rate to "decline in employment" which is the inverse. So when you see an increase in unemployment rates, you see a decrease in employment, which is what the second map shows.
Oh the games people play with statistics and perceptions. Don't forget to click on the graphs to enlarge them.
The full report is attached to this blog and is available here (pdf).
The raw excel data and other versions are available at the BLS.