Unemployment rates fall in nearly all US states

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74147 full

Unemployment rates fell or were unchanged in all 50 U.S. states in November, evidence that hiring is improving across the country.

The Labor Department says employers added jobs in 43 states and cut jobs in just seven. California, Texas and Indiana reported the largest job gains.

California employment increased by 44,300 from October to November 2013 and by 226,200 from November 2012 to November 2013.

Nationwide, hiring has been robust for the past four months. Employers added an average of 204,000 jobs from August through November, a strong pickup from early this year.

The national unemployment rate fell to 7 percent last month, a five-year low, while the California unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent in November from 9.9 percent one year ago.

Still, the decline in state unemployment rates has occurred partly because many people have stopped looking for work. When people who are out of work stop looking for jobs, they're no longer counted as unemployed. The unemployment rate can fall as a result.

--Christopher S. Rugaber, AP

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