Unemployment rates drop in 37 states

The U.S. economy is still struggling to create jobs and make a dent in the 9.7 percent unemployment rate. Improvements in the states were attributed mainly to people dropping out of job searches rather than finding work. 

On that front, 31 states and D.C. still are experiencing higher unemployment rates than during the same time last year. 

States also could experience some gains based on the federal government's hiring of temporary workers for the 2010 Census. 

At 14 percent, Nevada took over the dubious spot with the highest unemployment rate in the country, taking over the top spot from Michigan, which had the worst rate during the past four years. Michigan's rate dropped to 13.6 percent. California ranks third at 12.4 percent. 

North and South Dakota continued to have the lowest jobless rates in the country, at 3.6 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.