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Unemployment Rates Fall in 22 States in December

Unemployment rates fell in 22 states in December but rose in 16, the ""Bureau of Labor Statistics"":http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/laus_01182013.pdf (BLS) reported Friday in its monthly Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) release. In November, unemployment rates dropped in 45 states.

The unemployment rate based on the sum of the regional reports computed to 7.7 percent, slightly below the 7.8 percent national rate reported ""January 4"":http://www.themreport.com/articles/unemployment-rate-flat-at-78-155k-new-jobs-in-december-2013-01-04.

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According to the LAUS report, the West had the highest regional unemployment rate--8.6 percent, down from 8.7 percent in November and 9.8 percent in December 2011.

The Midwest registered the lowest unemployment rate with 7.1 percent, unchanged from November and down from 7.9 percent in December 2011.

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Nevada and Rhode Island had the highest unemployment of the states, 10.2 percent. The December unemployment rate in Nevada improved from 10.8 percent in November and from 13.0 percent in December 2011. The unemployment rate in Rhode Island was 10.4 percent in November and 11.0 percent in December 2011. No other states had double-digit unemployment rates in December, according to the report.

The lowest unemployment rate among the states was North Dakota’s 3.2 percent, up from 3.1 percent in November but down from 3.3 percent in December 2011. Only one other state, Nebraska, had an unemployment rate below 4.0 percent: 3.7 percent, unchanged from November and down from 4.2 percent in December 2011.

The 0.6 percentage point month-over-month improvement in the unemployment rate in Nevada was the largest among the states, followed by Alabama, where the unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points to 7.1 percent from 7.5 percent in November.

Per the LAUS report, New York added 35,000 payroll jobs in December, the largest gain among the states, followed by 30,200 in New Jersey, 14,400 in Georgia, and 10,200 in Missouri. According to the report, the number of jobs in Louisiana dropped 11,400 in December, the steepest loss among the states, followed by 10,600 job losses in Michigan.

_Hear Mark Lieberman on P.O.T.U.S.--Sirius 124--every Friday at 6:40 a.m. and 9:40 a.m. Eastern time._

About Author: Mark Lieberman

Mark Lieberman is the former Senior Economist at Fox Business Network. He is now Managing Director and Senior Economist at Economics Analytics Research. He can be heard each Friday on The Morning Briefing on POTUS on Sirius-XM Radio 124.
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