Unemployment rates fell in 40 states and the District of Columbia in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Three states reported increases, while seven reported no change.
Year to year, unemployment rates in 43 states and the District of Columbia decreased, while seven states reported increases. The national jobless rate remained at 7.5 percent in April, but was 0.6 percentage point lower than a year earlier.
The unemployment rate in the West continues to top the national average at 8 percent, while the South posted the nation’s lowest rate, 7.1 percent. Over the month as well as year-to-year, the Northeast, West and South posted “statistically significant” declines in their unemployment rates.
Among the individual states, Nevada continues to have the highest unemployment rate at 9.6 percent, followed by Illinois (9.3 percent), Mississippi (9.1 percent) and California (9 percent). North Dakota retains bragging rates to having the nation’s lowest unemployment rate, 3.3 percent. In total, 19 states posted jobless rates in April that were significantly lower than the national average. Eight states and the District of Columbia reported higher rates, while 23 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the rest of the nation.
Of the 15 states that reported significant over-the-month unemployment rate declines, California, New York and South Carolina posted the largest.
The largest year-over-year unemployment rate declines occurred in Nevada (-1.9 percentage points), Rhode Island (-1.8 points) and California and Florida (1.7 points each)
Payrolls in April increased in 30 states in April, decreased in 18 and the District of Columbia, and were unchanged in two. The largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in Texas (33,100 jobs), New York (25,300), and Florida (17,000). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in Wisconsin (24,100 jobs) Over the year, employment increased in 47 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in three. The largest over-the-year percentage increases occurred in North Dakota (3.7 percent) and Utah (3.5 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Wyoming (-0.5 percent) and Maine (-0.3 percent).