The U.S. Labor Department’s recently released employment data for October has indicated a drop in unemployment in 37 states giving further evidence of a slowly healing job market. Nearly half of the states in the Union reported unemployment rates lower than 7 percent last month and only seven states experienced a rise in job loss; the remaining six were unchanged. The largest drop for the month occurred in South Carolina which experienced a 0.5 percent drop from 9.1 percent to 8.6 percent, signaling the addition of 7,300 new jobs in the state.
The national unemployment rate actually rose slightly by 0.1 points to 7.9 percent, but is down 1 percent over the year. The average job growth during Q3 2012 was 174,000 compared to just 67,000 for Q2. The biggest job gains in October occurred in California and Texas reporting 45,800 and 36,600 new jobs, respectively. The trio of Michigan, New Jersey, and Minnesota lost the most jobs for the month.
The highest unemployment rate in the country remains in Nevada with a rate of 11.5 percent, but that number was down 0.3 points from September and sits at its lowest level in three and a half years. Another continuing trend is North Dakota reporting the lowest unemployment rate in the country, measuring at just 3.1 percent. This impressive statistic is a direct benefit of a recent boom in oil and gas drilling in the state.