California unemployment rate drops to 9 percent in April

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California's unemployment rate dropped from 9.4 percent to 9 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. The state's jobless rate is the fourth highest in the U.S. according to the BLS.

The BLS said regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in April.

Forty states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases, three states had increases, and seven states had no change, the BLS reported. 

Forty-three states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, while seven states had increases. The national jobless rate was little changed in April, at 7.5 percent, but was 0.6 percentage point lower than a year earlier.

The report shows Nevada with the highest unemployment rate among the states in April, 9.6 percent. The next highest rates were in Illinois (9.3 percent), Mississippi (9.1 percent), and California (9.0 percent). 

The April 2013 California unemployment rate of 9 percent is a drop from the 10.7 percent rate in April 2012. The BLS report said the the year-over-year decline in the state's jobless rate was the third largest among states. California and Florida 1.7 percentage points each. The largest declines from April 2012 were Nevada and Rhode Island.

The report said 30 states added jobs in April, while 18 reported fewer jobs.

Nationwide, employers added 165,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate fell to a four-year low of 7.5 percent. The economy has added an average of 208,000 jobs a month since November. That's up from only 138,000 a month in the previous six months.

North Dakota reported the nation's lowest unemployment rate, at 3.3 percent. The state has benefited from an oil and gas drilling boom.

With contributions from AP

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