Jobless rates drop in 11 U.S. states in June: Labor Department

WASHINGTON Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:36pm EDT

A man holds a pamphlet handed out by a recruiter while attending a job fair in New York, June 11, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

A man holds a pamphlet handed out by a recruiter while attending a job fair in New York, June 11, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Jobless rates fell in only 11 U.S. states in June, the Labor Department said on Thursday in a report revealing the bumps on the road to economic recovery.

The report, originally scheduled for release on Friday, also found that jobless rates rose from the previous month in 28 states and were unchanged in 11 states and the District of Columbia. That was a near reversal from May, when unemployment fell in 25 states and rose in 17.

Still, 19 states had jobless rates significantly lower than the national rate of 7.6 percent.

Over the year from June 2012, jobless rates dropped in 37 states and the District of Columbia, rose in seven states and were unchanged in six.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said it inadvertently loaded the state payroll data onto its website on Thursday morning. Then, "to ensure equal access to the information," it pulled the data from the site and reposted it at 3 p.m. EDT.

While the 2007-09 economic recession was fairly uniform across the states, sparing only a few, the recovery has been uneven.

Nevada continued to have the highest unemployment rate among the states in June, at 9.6 percent, followed by Illinois, 9.2 percent, and Mississippi, 9 percent. North Dakota again had the lowest jobless rate, at 3.1 percent, a position it has held for more than five years.

Illinois added 5,400 jobs since May. Without public sector layoffs - the state lost 3,600 government jobs in June - the number rises to 9,000, according to the state's employment department.

"Continued private sector job growth suggests business leaders expect that consumers will feel better about spending money and they must prepare for that increase in demand," the department's director, Jay Rowell, said in a statement. "The unemployment rate is not surprising given the volatility of that measurement and that the same summertime movement occurred in 2012 and 2011."

Altogether, employment rose in 37 states in June from May, decreased in 12 states and the District of Columbia and was unchanged in Arkansas. From May, California gained the most jobs, with 30,200, followed by Pennsylvania at 19,100 and Wisconsin at 17,500. Tennessee lost the most jobs, 16,500, followed by Ohio, 12,500 and New York, 11,400.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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