WASHINGTON, March 18 Almost all U.S. states
began 2013 with lower unemployment rates than they had at the
start of 2012, according to Labor Department data released on
Monday that showed jobless rates rose in only seven states from
January to January.
Three states started 2013 with the same jobless rates as
they had in January 2012 - New York at 8.4 percent, South
Carolina at 4.4 percent and West Virginia at 7 percent.
Nevada registered the biggest drop, to 9.7 percent in
January 2013 from 12 percent in January 2012.
The biggest increase in joblessness over the year was in
Pennsylvania, where the rate rose to 8.2 percent from 7.6
percent in January 2012. New Hampshire's rate followed,
increasing to 5.8 percent from 5.3 percent. New Jersey,
Washington, North Dakota, Delaware, and Indiana also registered
increases over the year.
In terms of payrolls, 48 states added jobs, while the
District of Columbia and two other states - Maine and Virginia -
lost them over the year. Texas had the biggest increase, 310,900
jobs, followed by California, 254,900.
Unlike previous downturns, the 2007-09 recession was fairly
uniform, sparing only a few states. The recovery, though, began
unevenly, with states rich in oil, natural gas and commodities
pulling ahead and those where housing had been the major source
of jobs limping for years after the real estate market
collapsed. In 2012, though, manufacturing and technology helped
more states improve.
In January 2013, California and Rhode Island had the
highest unemployment rate, both 9.8 percent. North Dakota again
had the lowest, 3.3 percent, a position it has occupied since
the start of the recession.
When compared to December, jobless rates dropped in eight
states, remained the same in 17 and rose in 25 along with the
District of Columbia.
In 34 states and the District of Columbia, payroll
employment rose from December, while in 16 states it dropped.