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Most States Show Improvement In Jobless Rates

Friday, 21 May 2010 | 10:37 AM ET

Most states across the country saw an improvement in employment in April as jobless rates dropped from the previous month, according to government data realeased on Friday.

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In all, 34 states and the District of Columbia saw their rates decrease in April from the previous month. Only six states saw increases and 10 states had no change in their unemployment, according to the Labor Department.

It was a slight improvement to March’s report, which showed 24 states reporting an increase in joblessness from the previous month.

Only one state—Nevada—had its unemployment rate reach an all-time high. The state’s jobless rate reached a record high in April at 13.7 percent, up from 13.2 percent in the previous month. The Labor Department began tracking state data in 1976.

Nationally, the unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent in April, from 9.7 percent in March, although employers added 290,000 in April, the fastest pace in four years.

Michiganstill had the highest jobless rate in the nation, though it dipped to 14.0 percent from 14.1 percent in March. It’s the lowest rate the state has seen since June 2009 when it was at 13.9 percent.

“Employment rose in April as persons entered the Michigan job market, while the number of unemployed individuals in Michigan was essentially flat over the month," said Rick Waclawek, director of Michigan’s Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives in a statement. “The state’s workforce has been increasing in 2010, following sharp reductions in 2009.”

Behind Michigan, Nevada had the second highest jobless rate in the country at 13.7 percent, followed by California (12.6 percent) and Rhode Island(12.5 percent).

North Dakota again had the lowest jobless rate in country at 3.8 percent in April, followed by South Dakota (4.7 percent) and Nebraska at 5.0 percent.

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