According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most states experienced a rise in unemployment rates in July and fewer states added jobs indicating a loss of momentum in the national job market. The Labor Department reports that 28 states and the District of Columbia had increases in unemployment rates while 8 states had decreases and 14 states saw no change. July had the lowest number of states showing a decline in unemployment since January.
Compared to June, 32 states increased hiring in July, the fewest in three months. The largest job gains occurred in California (38,100), Georgia (30,900), and Florida (27,600). The largest decrease in employment occurred in New Jersey (-11,800), Nevada (-10,200), and Maryland (-9,200). Regionally, the West had the highest unemployment rate at 7.9 percent as the Midwest and the South had the lowest rates at 7.3 percent each.
Hiring had remained steady for the first half of the year but slowed in July as employers added 162,000 jobs, the fewest since March. The national unemployment rate fell slightly to 7.4 percent, .8 percent lower than in July 2012.