WASHINGTON (March 29, 2013)--Unemployment rates fell in 22 U.S. states in February from January, a sign that hiring gains are benefiting many parts of the country, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday.
The Labor Department said unemployment rates rose in 12 states including Texas and were unchanged in 16.
Nationally, unemployment slid to a four-year low of 7.7 percent in February, down from 7.9 percent in January.
Since November, employers have added an average of 200,000 jobs a month, nearly double the average from last spring.
The states that were hit the hardest during the recession are showing improvement.
Florida's unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent in February, down from 9 percent a year earlier.
Nevada's rate, while tied with California and Mississippi for the highest among states at 9.6 percent, is down from 11.8 percent a year ago.