Unemployment falls in 34 states

By Blake Ellis, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- More than half of all U.S. states posted lower unemployment rates last month, the government said Friday.

A total of 34 states and the District of Columbia reported jobless rate declines in April, according to a monthly report from the Labor Department. Jobless rates rose in six states in April, and 10 states reported no change.

That compares to last month's gloomy state unemployment report, showing that 24 states suffered jobless rate hikes in March, and rates only eased in 17 states and the District of Columbia.

Annually, the state unemployment landscape is still grim, but getting better, Friday's report showed. Jobless rates rose in 38 states and the District of Columbia from a year earlier. But that's down from a total of 44 states and D.C. reporting rising rates in March.

Last month, the Labor Department's latest national report showed the U.S. economy gained 290,000 jobs in April, the biggest gain in four years. But the unemployment rate crept higher, to 9.9% from 9.7% in the previous month.

Friday's report showed that a total of 27 states posted unemployment rates below the national average of 9.9% in April, while 10 states and D.C. reported higher rates.

North Dakota boasted the lowest unemployment, posting a 3.8% rate. South Dakota and Nebraska followed, with rates of 4.7% and 5%, respectively.

Michigan again suffered severe unemployment, and its 14% jobless rate was the highest in the nation. Nevada's 13.7% unemployment rate was the second highest rate and a record high for the state. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,156.85 24.88 0.15%
Nasdaq 4,562.19 9.43 0.21%
S&P 500 2,001.57 2.59 0.13%
Treasuries 2.60 0.01 0.42%
Data as of 10:29pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.77 0.06 0.36%
Apple Inc 101.58 0.72 0.71%
Yahoo! Inc 42.59 -0.12 -0.28%
Microsoft Corp 46.52 -0.24 -0.51%
Alcoa Inc 16.28 0.12 0.74%
Data as of 4:03pm ET

Sections

Profit was nearly cut in half for Pier 1 Imports during the most recent quarter. More

The Federal Reserve is probably not going to raise interest rates until the summer of 2015 at the earliest. More

Frederick Hutson launched Pigeon.ly in 2012 to help inmates communicate with their friends and family. He's on target for $1 million in sales this year. More

Occupy Wall Street offshoot Strike Debt says it has abolished nearly $4 million in private student loan debt for students who attended Everest College, part of Corinthian Colleges. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.