Jobless rates fall below 4 pct. in nearly half US states

US Jobless Claims Decline To 233000, Continuing Claims Edge Higher

Numbers for county unemployment rates will be released next week. Kootenai County's June unemployment rate was 3.5 percent.

According to the Department of Labor and Industry, the civilian labor force decreased by 1,000 to 6,475,000.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates were Vestavia Hills at 3.2 percent, Hoover at 3.6 percent, and Homewood at 3.7 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox at 13.5 percent, Clarke at 10.6 percent and Perry at 10.2 percent.

Despite those losses, labor market economist Emily Doerksen said some positive trends have been evident in the service sector over the past year, including increases in average weekly hours worked and average hourly earnings.


The biggest job gains were in leisure and hospitality.

Colorado shared the nation's lowest jobless rate with North Dakota in June, while Alaska had the highest rate at 6.8 percent and 19 states had unemployment rates below 4 percent.

Nationwide, employers added 222,000 jobs in June, the most in four months.

Job gains came in leisure and hospitality, 9,200; professional and business services, 8,500; other services, such as fix, maintenance, personal and laundry services, 5,700; education and health services, 5,600; state and local government, 2,100; information services, 1,100; and trade, transportation and warehousing and financial activities, 1,000 each.

The U.S. unemployment rate for June was also up 0.1 percentage points from the 4.3 percent reported in May 2017. This sector has added 2,600 jobs since June 2016, a 1 percent growth rate. The state added more than 10,000 private sector jobs in June, compared to May, maintaining the unemployment level at 3.0 percent. The number of jobs has grown by 2.9 percent in the past year, which trails only Nevada and Utah. Federal government employment did not change.

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