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24 U.S. states see lower unemployment

March 12, 2011 at 4:31 PM

WASHINGTON, March 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. Labor Department said 24 states recorded lower unemployment rates in January, while 10 others experienced increases and 16 saw no changes in the month.

The unemployment rate in the nation's capital was also unchanged in January, the Labor Department said in a report issued Friday.

From a year ago, 39 states and the District of Columbia experienced decreases, while 9 reported increases and 2 saw no change.

Ohio gained 31,900 jobs in January, setting the pace for the nation. Illinois added 24,500 jobs, while California gained 22,600. Vermont had the largest percentage increase, however, with a 1.8 percent gain.

Georgia lost the most jobs in the month at 15,300. New Jersey lost 13,000 jobs in January, while Florida lost 12,900.

Michigan in the month dropped to fifth in terms of the highest unemployment rate after coming in second for 2010.

In January, Nevada topped the nation with an unemployment rate of 14.2 percent. In California, the unemployment rate was 12.4 in January, followed by Florida at 11.9 percent, Rhode Island at 11.3 percent and Michigan at 10.7 percent.

The lowest unemployment rate was in Nebraska, where 4.2 percent of the workforce is unemployed. In South Dakota, the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in January, the department said.

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