BY CHRISTOPHER RUGABER
WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment rates fell to record lows in Idaho and Tennessee in September, and dropped in 9 other states.
The Labor Department’s report on state unemployment, released Friday, also showed the extent of Hurricane Irma’s damage in Florida, which lost 127,400 jobs that month, or about 1.5 percent of the state’s total jobs. Most of those losses were likely temporary.
Steady hiring has driven down unemployment in most states in the past year. Nationwide, the rate fell to 4.1 percent in October, a 17-year low. That is down from 4.8 percent a year earlier.
The jobless rate dropped to 2.8 percent in Idaho from 2.9 percent in the previous month. Tennessee’s rate fell sharply, to 3.3 percent to 3 percent. Both figures are the lowest on records dating back to 1976.
Employers added jobs in five states in September and cut them in six, the report said. The biggest gains were in California, which added 52,200 jobs, followed by Washington state, with 13,800, and Indiana, which gained 11,400.
After Florida, the states with the biggest job losses were New York, which shed 34,100, followed by Missouri, with 10,500. Texas, which was slammed by Hurricane Harvey in late August, shed 7,300 jobs.
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