Unemployment Rates Fall In 29 U.S. States

unemployment rate fallBy Christopher S. Rugaber


WASHINGTON -- Unemployment rates fell last month in most U.S. states, including in some hit hardest during the recession.

The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates declined in 29 states and rose in 8. Rates were unchanged in 13 states and Washington, D.C. The improvement was broader last month: rates fell in 45 states in January.

Still, job growth was more widespread than in previous months. Employers added jobs in 42 states, the most in almost a year. Ohio, Texas and New York reported the biggest job gains.

Nationwide, the economy added 227,000 net jobs in February and has averaged 245,000 jobs per month since December. That's helped lower the unemployment to 8.3 percent, the lowest level in three years.

The economy is expanding only modestly. But economists expect the stronger job market will help lift growth later this year.

And fresh data released Friday suggest that may already be happening. Consumer spending rose 0.8 percent in February, the Commerce Department said. That's the best gain in seven months.

Even some of the worst-hit states are seeing progress. Michigan's unemployment rate fell to 8.8 percent in February. That's down from a peak of 14.2 percent in August 2009. Many there are benefiting from the recovery in the auto industry, which has boosted job creation.

The rebound in auto sales has also helped South Carolina, where Mercedes and BMW both have manufacturing plants. The state's unemployment rate fell to 9.1 percent in February from 11.5 percent a year earlier. South Carolina has gained jobs in manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, and education and health care.

Many of the states hit hardest by the housing bust are also showing signs of health. Florida's unemployment rate has fallen to 9.4 percent from 10.8 percent a year earlier. California's rate is still painfully high at 10.9 percent. But it has dropped from 12 percent a year ago, a sign of progress.

Nevada has the nation's highest unemployment rate, at 12.3 percent. The state lost 12,800 jobs last month, the most of all states. That was also the biggest percentage job loss of any state.

Rhode Island's unemployment was the second highest, at 11 percent, up slightly from the previous month. Its rate hasn't improved much, declining only 0.3 percentage points in the past year.

North Dakota continued to report the lowest unemployment rate, at 3.1 percent, followed by Nebraska, at 4 percent.



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craig9636

The unemployment numbers are down but like many have pointed out these are low quality jobs. The one factor is that companies do have capital and want to hire but have been holding back pending certain decisions (ie health care). If Obama is re-elected, the economy will improve since these companies will not want to wait another four years. If he is defeated the economy improves more rapidly.

April 02 2012 at 9:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bearmeans

because people are running out of unemployment there is no jobs i am 51 yrs old been looking for a year no body is hiring obama is joke !!!!

April 02 2012 at 9:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
CHARLENE

It didnt drop.
It just shows how many people are collecting unimployment as of today.
I t does not tell you how many millions of people who are not able to collect unimployment anymore.
Thank You Obama.
Thank You China

April 02 2012 at 8:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lpi2007

Obama makes these media people say these things, have you ever noticed, anyone on the media says anything bad about the president or his believes GETS FIRED......... I can name a bunch of them in the last 6 months.

April 02 2012 at 7:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
davandsher

The Øbama administration would really like un informed voters to believe that things are better. The truth is most of these jobs are minimum wage jobs that people who are trying to support their families are forced to apply for. The people who hire people for the best jobs have no confidence in the Øbama administration .Things will suddenly get better when we have a new President. Like Carter, four years of Øbama is quite enough.

April 02 2012 at 7:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tonsu97

So Sad ! Unemployment numbers are down and trending down..Job growth is up...It doesn't make any difference how the numbers are created as it is a relative position...Things are getting better and the Conservatives are scared silly because as the trend continues, Obama wins. People of the USA know that things are improving despite the conservative nay-sayers and the Party of NO.

April 02 2012 at 7:23 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tonsu97's comment
lpi2007

Nay says, there's got to be 2 of you, 1 person can't be that stupid

April 02 2012 at 7:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Optimum

All that means is that a large group of people have reached the end of their unemployment payments. They cannot draw any more. THAT is the figure the White House uses. It is VERY dishonest. And, of COURSE the rates are going to make Obama look good - the oil problem is going to be solved (and least the press will say that), and lots of other problems that he has never gotten around to solving.

April 02 2012 at 7:09 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
MR weaver king

at least now we know which states people just gave up and quit looking for jobs .

April 02 2012 at 6:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Pinot Man

WHAT LIES NOW? UNEMPLOYMENT RATES FALL, WHERE?? THESE FIGURES CAME FROM THE WHITE HOUSE AND HAVE NO MEANING WHAT SO EVER. AMERICANS CREDIT CARDS ARE MAXED, 1 IN 4 ARE UNDERWATER WITH THEIR CARDS. COLLECTION AGENCIES ARE CHASING HOUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF "WORKING AMERICANS" MY ASS! MORE OBUMA BULL SH-T

April 02 2012 at 6:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
toddisit

The jobs that are being created are usually poor, and there are still a bunch of dummies out there doing the hiring, examples, don't be out of work for too long, don't ever be fired from a job. With lack of jobs and this type of stupidity in hiring, many people are simply cooked unless the laws change.

April 02 2012 at 6:11 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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