By Peter Schroeder - 03/01/13 04:10 PM EST
North Dakota held on to its title as the state with the lowest jobless rate for the fourth year in a row, now at 3.1 percent. Nebraska and South Dakota rounded out the top three in terms of the employment.
The only states to see their jobless rate rise in 2012 were New York and New Jersey, which both lingering above the national average. New Jersey's rate climbed 0.1 percent to 9.5 percent, while New York's jumped 0.2 percent to 8.5. The unemployment rate of New Hampshire (5.5 percent) and Pennsylvania (7.9 percent) remained flat throughout 2012.
From a regional perspective, the West was the only area of the country to have an unemployment rate above the national average, standing at 9.2 percent. Three of the four regions, including the West, experienced significant drops in their unemployment rate, while the Northeast sits relatively close to the national average at 8.2 percent and was unchanged in 2012. The Midwest and South both have unemployment rates below the national average of 7.4 and 7.7 percent, respectively.