Unemployment rates in 9 states dropped in January of this year, says a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released today. Overall, the unemployment rate remains constant, and job markets are expected to remain depressed into 2011.

Some State Show Improvement

Overall, there are 12 states that have unemployment rates that are higher than the US average, which is currently 9.7%. Michigan remains the highest, although it also exhibited the greatest decline in January, falling 0.20 percentage points to 14.3%. Other states with high unemployment rates are Rhode Island, South Carolina and California, all of which have unemployment rates above 12%.

North Dakota and Nebraska have the lowest unemployment rates, both hovering below the 5% mark. Since the end of 2007, The U.S. economy has lost an estimated 8.4 million jobs.

Labor Market Recovery Still Not Widespread

Although 9 states showed growth in employment, far more experienced further increases in unemployment, demonstrating that the labor market recovery is still a phenomenon that is restricted to certain regions of the country.

A great deal of these job cuts have resulted from state budget cuts according to a Bloomberg article on the subject. New Jersey, for example, plans to cut 200 jobs from its public transit system in order to make up for a budget deficit this year. Despite these cuts, New Jersey saw a small increase in its employment in January, up 0.10 percentage points from last year.

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