By Peter Schroeder - 05/16/14 01:48 PM EDT
Unemployment fell in 42 states in April, as the nation’s labor market continued to slowly improve.
The Labor Department reported Friday that state unemployment rates were down in most states nationwide and half the states now had rates below 6 percent. Only two states reported increases, while five states, plus the District of Columbia, reported no change over that month.
The national unemployment rate has steadily fallen in the last several months, and now stands at 6.3 percent.
The state with the highest unemployment rate is Rhode Island, with a rate of 8.3 percent. Nevada has the second-highest rate of 8 percent. North Dakota continues to enjoy the lowest jobless rate of 2.6 percent, followed by Vermont with 3.3 percent.
By region, the West has the highest unemployment rate of 7 percent, while the South enjoys the lowest of 5.9 percent. All four U.S. regions reported declines in the past month, and all four are also down for the year.