Pennsylvania jobless rate bumps up, payrolls shrink in April

Florida's unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent in April, the lowest since September 2007, while the Orlando area continues to lead the state in job creation, according to numbers released Friday. The comparable estimates for the nation were 4.4 percent in April, 4.5 percent in March and 5 percent a year ago.

Colorado's recent annualized job growth rate of 1.8 percent is now closer to the USA average of 1.6 percent, Gedney said.

There were 9,600 more New Mexicans employed in New Mexico in April 2017 when compared to April 2016.

George Mokrzan, the chief economist at Columbus-based Huntington Bank, said that while the state's unemployment rate suggests a healthy economy, the fact that job growth is slowing is something to keep an eye on. Alaska has the second-highest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent.

That and the 37,400-strong jump in jobs boosted the Australian dollar AUD=D4 which rose a third of a US cent to a two-week high. Colorado's was 2.3%, the lowest in the country.

Private-sector employers added 1,900 jobs, the Department of Labor said, bringing the total number of jobs added in the past year to 55,900. That obviously both fills and creates vacancies for businesses, he said. Gains were widespread among the industries, with eight of the 14 major industries each adding close to 1,000 jobs.

Labor & Industry Commissioner Pam Bucy said the states low jobless numbers can make it hard for employers to find the skilled workers they need to grow and expand their operations. That caused the number of those unemployed in the state to decrease 7,300.

The sharp drops locally and across the state come as state lawmakers "turn their backs" on economic development programs such as Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida, Gov. Rick Scott said in a news release.

Professional and business services saw the largest growth, adding 39,500 jobs over the year in April; followed by trade, transportation and utilities with 36,600 new jobs; construction with 34,400 new jobs; and education and health services with 32,700 jobs.

Annual employment growth is running at 1.6 percent, and forward-looking indicators of employment such as job ads and business surveys have also been generally positive.

County unemployment rates dipped significantly throughout Alabama in April, including the Wiregrass where Houston County's rate fell a full percentage point in a single month to 4.2 percent. The state's labor force participation rate rose slightly to 64.6 percent, which remains higher than the national rate of 62.9 percent, according to the DWD.

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