Unemployment falls in 75 percent of states

WASHINGTON — An increase in hiring helped lower unemployment rates in 37 U.S. states last month, the latest indication that the job market is slowly healing.

Unemployment rates are now below 7 percent in 23 of the 50 states. The Labor Department says rates rose in seven states in October and were unchanged in six.

South Carolina’s rate fell from 9.1 percent to 8.6 percent, the biggest drop among states. It has fallen a full percentage point in just two months. The state gained 7,300 jobs in October, mostly in hotels, restaurants, education and health care, and government. Alaska and Wisconsin recorded the next biggest declines.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent in October. But it has declined a full point in the past year. Employers added 171,000 jobs in October. Job gains in September and August were also much stronger than initially estimated. That raised the average job growth from July through September to 174,000 a month, up from 67,000 a month in the April-June quarter.

The biggest job gains among states in October were in California and Texas. California employers added 45,800 positions. Texas gained 36,600 jobs.

Michigan, New Jersey and Minnesota shed the most jobs.

Nevada reported the highest unemployment rate, at 11.5 percent. But the rate fell from 11.8 percent in September and is at its lowest level in three and a half years. It has fallen almost two percentage points in the past twelve months.

North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate among states, at 3.1 percent. The state has benefited from an oil and gas drilling boom.

More in Herald Business Journal

Health-care consumers need to take the lead, so get smart

David Russian, CEO of Western Washington Medical Group, writes our third essay about fixing health care.

Robots on Wall Street: Slow-footed regulators lose ground

Watchdogs have to figure out how to check computers running lightening-fast algorithms.

More business, more competition for Everett kidney dialysis center

Nonprofit Puget Sound Kidney Centers sees large for-profit competitors enter state market.

Molina Medical holds fall carnival for families in Everett

Molina Medical is hosting a free event for families in the Everett… Continue reading

Leadership Snohomish County celebrates 20 years of service

Leadership Snohomish County is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The organization was launched… Continue reading

Snohomish, Monroe manufacturers honored for innovation, excellence

Two Snohomish County companies have been honored with Manufacturing Excellence awards at… Continue reading

Remodeled home tours planned this weekend

This weekend, Edmonds-based Chermak Construction will participate in the 2017 Remodeled Homes… Continue reading

Barron Heating to celebrate anniversary at Marysville showroom

Barron Heating and Air Conditioning is celebrating its 45th anniversary from 10… Continue reading

US budget deficit hits $666B, an $80B spike for the year

The deficit issue has largely fallen in prominence in Washington in recent years.

Most Read