By Christopher S. Rugaber
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The unemployment rate fell in 45 U.S. states in January, a sign that nearly all of the country is benefiting from an improving economy and job market.
The Labor Department said that only New York state reported a higher unemployment rate in January than the previous month. Unemployment rates were unchanged in four states.
That's better than December, when rates fell in 37 states, were unchanged in 10 and rose in three.
Nationwide, the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent in January from 8.5 percent. Employers added 284,000 jobs in January, the second-highest total in six years.
Nevada had the nation's highest unemployment rate in January, at 12.7 percent, down from 13 percent in the previous month. California and Rhode Island had the next-highest rates, each with 10.9 percent.
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