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State unemployment rates hold steady

By Blake Ellis, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The state unemployment picture was little changed in October, with rates holding relatively steady across the country, the government said Tuesday.

A total of 19 states and the District of Columbia posted unemployment rate decreases in October, according to the Labor Department's monthly report on state unemployment. Jobless rates rose in 14 states and were unchanged in 17 states.

That was slightly less of an improvement than in the previous month, when 23 states and D.C. posted lower unemployment rates and 11 states reported higher rates.

But the number of states with jobless rates above 10% has continued to decline, with eight states posting rates above 10% in October, down from 10 states in September.

Nevada suffered the highest level of unemployment for the sixth month in a row at 14.2%. Michigan was second, reporting a rate of 12.8%, and California followed with a 12.4% rate.

North Dakota remained the state with the lowest unemployment, posting a 3.8% rate, followed by South Dakota at 4.5% and Nebraska at 4.7%.

Compared to a year ago, more than half of the nation's states reported lower unemployment. Twenty-nine states and D.C. posted rate declines from the previous year, while 16 states reported increases and five states had no change. To top of page

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