WASHINGTON Nov 20 Unemployment rates declined
in almost all U.S. states in October from a year earlier,
according to Labor Department data released on Tuesday, and the
rates in more than half the states dropped from September.
Altogether, 42 states and the District of Columbia
registered decreases from a year earlier, while eight said their
rates rose. From the previous month, rates dropped in 37 states
and rose in seven.
In October, employers across the country added thousands of
jobs to their payrolls. While the national jobless rate inched
up to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in September, it was much
lower than the high of 10 percent reached toward the end of the
2007-09 recession. September's rate was the lowest in more than
That healing in the jobs market has proven uneven
geographically, with some states still crippled by the bursting
of the housing bubble, the financial crisis and the longest and
deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression.
In October, 21 states had jobless rates higher than the
national rate, almost all in the West and the South.
Nevada continued to have the highest unemployment rate among
the states, at 11.5 percent, although it was lower than
September's 11.8 percent. Rhode Island and California followed,
with rates at 10.4 percent and 10.1 percent.
North Dakota held the lowest rate, at 3.1 percent, as it had
throughout the recession thanks to a booming energy sector.
The labor department said nonfarm payrolls rose in 35 states
and the District of Columbia and shrank in 15 states. California
had the largest increase, with 45,800 jobs, followed by Texas
and Georgia. Michigan shed the most jobs, down 16,500.
For a table on U.S. state unemployment rates in October