TX, FL and CA Lead In Job Growth. Unemployment Remains High In RI, NV and IL Per Labor Dept.
The U.S. Labor Department reported that 30 states added jobs and the unemployment rate fell in 39 states in December, 2013.
Texas added the most jobs last month (17,600), followed by Florida (14,100) and California (13,600). Payrolls in those three states also increased the most over the past year.
In Texas, information, mining and logging — a category that includes oil and gas — and professional and business services saw the fastest job growth.
While the U.S. unemployment rate was 6.7% in December, the unemployment rate in Texas dropped for the fifth straight month to 6%.
In California construction jobs rose by 4.8%, or 28,900, over the past year — the fastest growth category. The state’s leisure and hospitality industry saw payrolls rise 4.5%, or 73,400. But, California’s unemployment rate at 8.3% remains well above the national average.
Florida’s construction payrolls rose 8.4%, or by 28,800, over the past year. Retail jobs also posted fast growth, with payrolls up 5.5%, or 55,000. The state’s unemployment rate was 6.2% in December, down from 7.9% a year earlier.
At 9.1%, Rhode Island had the highest unemployment rate in the U.S. last month, followed by Nevada at 8.8% and Illinois at 8.6%. Rhode Island jobless rates has remained high since 2008.