The state of Michigan has another dubious distinction: It's tied with South Carolina as the hardest state in the country to find a job.

A new study from the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit Washington, D.C., think tank, finds that it took 19.4 weeks in Michigan and South Carolina to find a job, the longest amount of time in the country. North Dakota was the shortest at 7.1 weeks.

That Michigan, a state that has led the nation for 48 consecutive months in the unemployment rate, would be high on the list for difficulty of finding a job is not surprising. Michigan's unemployment rate was 14.0 percent in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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South Carolina's unemployment rate was 11.6 percent, sixth-highest in the country.

"This is what you get when the political class substitutes ineffective political "jobs" and "incentives" programs for genuine reform in the state's tax, regulatory a labor law climates," said Jack McHugh, a senior legislative analyst with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, in an e-mail.

South Carolina's wait time is a bit more perplexing, since that state is a right-to-work state.

Ashley Landess, president of the South Carolina Policy Council think tank, said her state lost 90,000 jobs from August 2008 to August 2009.

"The most obvious reason for our failing economy is government spending," Landess wrote in an e-mail. "Small businesses make up the bulk of our jobs, yet we refuse to cut their taxes."


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Jim Riley got his own fiscal house in order so he could retire. Now he wonders why his city government can’t do the same for their employees, and taxpayers who could end with huge bills from the unfunded retirement liabilities.

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