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VOL. 126 | NO. 248 | Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Unemployment Fell in 43 States in November

MARTIN CRUTSINGER | AP Economics Writer

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Unemployment rates fell in 43 states in November, the most number of states to report such declines in eight years.

The falling state rates reflect the brightening jobs picture nationally. The U.S. unemployment rate fell sharply in November to 8.6 percent, the lowest since March 2009. The economy has generated 100,000 or more jobs five months in a row – the first time that's happened since 2006, before the Great Recession.

Only three states reported higher unemployment rates in November, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Four states showed no change.

Nevada for the 18th straight month had the highest state unemployment rate: 13 percent. It was followed by California at 11.3 percent. North Dakota again enjoyed the lowest unemployment rate: 3.4 percent. It was followed by Nebraska at 4.1 percent and South Dakota at 4.3 percent.

The biggest decline in the unemployment rate in November compared with October was in Michigan. Its rate dropped by 0.8 percentage point to 9.8 percent, from 10.6 percent in October.

Alabama, Minnesota, South Carolina and Utah all reported declines of 0.6 percentage point in November from October.

Employers added jobs in 29 states and the District of Columbia. Employment decreased in 19 states and was unchanged in two. The largest month-over-month increases were in New York, up 29,500 jobs, and Texas, with a gain of 20,800.

The largest month-over-month decline occurred in Wisconsin, a drop of 14,600 payroll jobs.

The drop in unemployment rates in 43 states marked the most number of states to show declines since October 2003.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 74 74 17,939
MORTGAGES 95 95 20,660
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 8 8 2,701
BUILDING PERMITS 141 141 36,977
BANKRUPTCIES 59 59 11,485
BUSINESS LICENSES 17 17 5,865
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 27 27 6,857
MARRIAGE LICENSES 41 41 4,090