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US Sept Payrolls up in 26 states, Michigan lags

WASHINGTON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. Midwest continued to suffer from job cuts in September, the Labor Department said on Friday, though there was little change in unemployment rates across the country last month.

The Midwest had the highest regional unemployment rate, at 5.4 percent, the same as in August. The department said Michigan lost 10,600 jobs, Kansas 6,500 and Minnesota 6,300 jobs during the month.

Among all states, Michigan also had the highest unemployment rate, at 7.5 percent, and was the only state to experience a year-on-year decline in payrolls. It has lost 64,100 jobs since September 2006.

Across the country, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 26 states and the District of Columbia in September, and decreased in 23 states, the Department said.

The South had the lowest unemployment rate of the regions, at 4.4 percent, up from 4.2 percent in August. Idaho continued to record the lowest jobless rate among states at 2.3 percent, while Arizona’s 3.3 percent rate was the lowest since the series began 31 years ago.

The West in general registered growing strength. Among all states, Texas gained the most workers in nonfarm payroll employment, at 23,100, in September and Wyoming reported the largest month-on-month increase, up 0.7 percent from August.

In a separate report issued two weeks ago, the Labor Department said the economy added 110,000 jobs in September, compared with 87,000 in August, and had an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent, little changed from 4.6 percent in August.