Nationwide Jobless Rates Fall
Unemployment rates fell in 29 states in August and held steady in 11 as hiring remained solid nationwide. Falling oil and coal prices continued to take a toll on energy-producing states. The Labor Department said today that rates rose in the remaining 10 states. Employers added jobs in 32 states and shed them in 18. Nationwide, employers added 173,000 jobs in August, while the national unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent from 5.3 percent. The state unemployment report comes a day after the Federal Reserve decided against raising short-term interest rates, citing threats to the U.S. economy from weak growth in China and the persistence of very low inflation. Employment experts say 36 states still have higher unemployment rates than they did before the Great Recession began in December 2007. And 14 states, including Alabama have rates much higher than the 5 percent that the Fed says is consistent with a healthy economy.