Unemployment hits record low in 13 states

Unemployment hits record low in 13 states

Thirteen states around the country have recorded their lowest unemployment rates in more than 40 years in 2017, according to government data released Friday.

The employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the unemployment rate in Alabama, California, Hawaii, Mississippi and Texas set record lows in November.

Earlier this year, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, North Dakota, Oregon and Tennessee all set records for the lowest unemployment rate since the agency began keeping track of state-level job situations in 1976. Washington State tied its previous record-low.

Seven years into a recovery from the worst recession in modern times, the range of states hitting new lows includes the full political, economic and geographic palate. Conservative Alabama and Mississippi, which were hit hard by the recession's decline in manufacturing jobs, are seeing positive signs, as are liberal Washington and California, where technology is changing local economies.

No state has hit a record high unemployment rate since December 2010, as the sputtering recovery began.

This month, Hawaii notched the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, at 2 percent in November. Seven other states — North Dakota, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa and Vermont — all sported unemployment rates below 3 percent.

In the past year, seven states have seen their unemployment rates drop by more than a full percentage point, led by Alabama, where the rate has dropped 2.7 points. Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas have all seen big year-over-year improvements.

Alaska's unemployment rate remains the highest in the nation, at 7.2 percent. The District of Columbia's unemployment rate stands at 6.4 percent, and New Mexico notches a 6.1 percent rate.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said it had not been able to conduct employment surveys in the U.S. Virgin Islands, three months after they were slammed by hurricanes Maria and Irma.