BY CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
Employers added a significant number of jobs in nine states last month, and unemployment rates in four states fell to record lows.
The Labor Department says the states with the largest percentage gains in jobs were Alaska, Alabama and Louisiana. The nation’s capital, Washington D.C., recorded an even larger gain.
Overall, the figures suggest that steady, if slower, hiring this year is improving the job market in many states. Florida added nearly 30,000 jobs last month, the most of any state, followed by New York with nearly 28,000 and North Carolina with almost 19,000.
Arkansas’ unemployment rate dropped to 3.4 percent in May, a record low. Mississippi, Oregon and Washington state also reported record lows, all dating back to 1976.
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