Unemployment rates fall in 42 US states amid broad hiring
WASHINGTON - Unemployment rates fell in 42 U.S. states last month, the latest sign that strong hiring is boosting job opportunities nationwide.
The Labor Department said Tuesday that rates rose in just four states last month and were unchanged in four others.
Job gains remained healthy in states with large oil and gas industries, suggesting that plunging oil prices have yet to cause significant layoffs. Texas gained 45,700 jobs in December, the most in the nation. Overall, 41 states gained jobs, while nine said they had lost jobs.
Nationwide, nearly 3 million more Americans are earning paychecks now compared with 12 months ago. That should help boost consumer spending and accelerate the economy's growth. Analysts forecast that growth should top 3 percent this year for the first time in a decade.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Survivor of crash that killed Buddy Amoroso demands driver education
After WBRZ report, authorities to meet with sheriff about deputy's sexual misconduct
Battle to better protect witnesses moves forward in East Baton Rouge
Another bridge closure in northern EBR concerning residents
Dangerous calls prompt fire departments to seek bullet-proof vests