Instead of May flowers, April showers brought a flood of job losses, with 44 states notching declines, the Wall Street Journal reports. California led the pack with 63,700 positions cut, but its 11% unemployment rate trailed those of Michigan (12.9%), Oregon (12%), South Carolina (11.5%), and Rhode Island (11.1%). One bright spot: April saw fewer Americans involved in mass layoffs.
The US has lost a net total of 5.7 million jobs since the recession began. Fed chief Ben Bernanke hopes the pace of layoffs will decline, but even if that happens, the unemployment rate—currently 8.9%—is still expected to hit double digits. Meanwhile, Arkansas and Montana tied for the biggest payroll gains, and at 4%, North Dakota’s unemployment rate remains America’s lowest.