State jobless rates remain stable


Unemployment remained stable in the nation, with Delaware’s jobless rate remaining well below the national average.

A report Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that 49 states and the District of Columbia registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, while only one state experienced an increase. The national jobless rate was unchanged from January at 8.3 percent but was 0.7 percentage point lower than in February 2011.

Delaware’s jobless rate was 7 percent, with Maryland at 6.5 percent, well below the national figure. March jobless figures are expected to be released later this month in Delaware.

Nevada continued to record the highest unemployment rate among the states, 12.3 percent in February. Rhode Island and California posted the next highest rates, 11.0 and 10.9 percent, respectively. North Dakota again registered the lowest jobless rate, 3.1 percent, followed by Nebraska, 4 percent. In total, 23 states reported jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 8.3 percent, 6 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 21 states had rates that were not appreciably different from the nation as a whole.

The comparison of state unemployment rate came on the same day as a disappointing employment report that showed a smaller gain in jobs than anticipated.

An Associated Press story reported that the gain provided scant comfort for the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and likely nominee Mitt Romney.

A sluggish recovery is of no help to Obama, but any recovery waters down the argument that Romney could be a “Mr. Fix It” for the economy, the AP reported. Click this link to view the story.



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