Well I was prowling for data for a post, and found this site. It has the "official" unemployment statistics for every state. Mass is at 5.5%, and Rhode Island is at 9.3%. These are the official numbers, not the real ones. Remember, the government removes you from the "eligible workforce" if you have been out of work longer than a few months. These numbers also don't reflect those who are short of work and need more. Also if you leave work to have a kid, then try to go back to work, you don't count.
It's chilling. I am witnessing the slide of America into poverty. If this keeps up I wonder what will happen to the illegal immigrants when the "jobs no one wants" are coveted by American citizens? America has always been a heterogeneous mixture, with different ethnic groups clumping together in the melting pot. When one group has it better than the other then you better look out!
I used to push boxes around for a living. For 5 years or so I worked in a variety of warehouses. When I started, There were little, if any immigrants, legal or otherwise. When I left, managers were taking Spanish classes to keep up with the work force. I recently had to go to several warehouses to help out a buddy and we couldn't find anyone who spoke freaking English. I was cracking jokes about INS, and the foreman warned me to knock it off, because they'd beat the crap out of me. This is New England, it's as far as you can get from South America and stay in the continental US, and the menial jobs are all held by immigrants!
As a country we have some tough times ahead. This is going to be made harder by racial tensions, as up here the South Americans all stick to themselves in their own little ghettos where everything is done in Spanish. By excluding themselves from the rest of society they make themselves a target. If your lucky enough to have a retreat, don't segregate yourself, integrate with the communities near you.
Would the federal government, if faced with a total collapse of the economy boot out illegals so citizens could have a job? With a democrat in office, I tend to doubt it. This means the illegals will form the core of the middle class if the American economy recovers in 5-10 years. Now that's funny. See, they way I figure it, if they are working steadily, then they will have the income to invest and grow their own businesses. While the lazy American citizens will live on the dole.
I wonder how the increased strain on the unemployment system impacts the state economies.