By Christopher S. Rugaber
WASHINGTON -- Unemployment rates rose in 27 U.S. states last month, the most in almost a year and a reflection of weaker hiring nationwide.
The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates fell in 11 states and Washington, D.C. - the fewest since August. Rates were unchanged in 12 states.
Still, 29 states added jobs in June, up from 27 in May. Unemployment rates can rise even if more jobs are created if more of those out of work start looking for jobs. The number of Americans searching for jobs nationwide increased last month.
States With The Highest And Lowest Rates
Nevada recorded the highest unemployment rate, at 11.6 percent, the same as the previous month. It was followed by Rhode Island at 10.9 percent and California at 10.7 percent
North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.9 percent. It followed by Nebraska at 3.8 percent.
Several states reported big increases in unemployment. Rates rose 0.4 percentage points in Alabama and New Jersey, to 7.8 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively.
Some states kept hiring at a healthy pace in June. California added 38,300 jobs and Ohio added 18,400, after similar gains in both states in May. And North Carolina rebounded after losing jobs in May, adding 16,900 jobs last month.
Still others lost jobs. Wisconsin shed 13,200 positions, the most of any state. It was followed by Tennessee, where employers cut 12,100 jobs.
The economy is struggling to generate enough growth to boost hiring and consumer spending from subpar levels.
Job growth slowed to 75,000 a month from April through June, down from healthy 226,000 pace in the first three months of the year. Unemployment is stuck at 8.2 percent.
On Wednesday, a survey by the Fed said hiring was "tepid" in most of its districts in June and early July. And manufacturing weakened in most regions.
Retail sales fell in June for the third straight month, the government said this week. That led many economists to downgrade their estimates for growth in the April-June quarter. Many think it will be even slower than the first quarter's scant 1.9 percent annual pace.
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