Four states saw an upswing in hiring in December, despite employers' reluctance to add to payrolls while lawmakers were still battling it out over budget cuts and taxes. Some 90,000 jobs were filled in New York, New Jersey, Georgia and Missouri.
But if you were looking for work in California, Florida, Louisiana or Michigan, your search probably was mighty frustrating. Those states together lost about 45,000 jobs last month.
How does North Dakota sound to you? The oil boom in that state has attracted many older workers with its plentiful jobs and generous salaries. North Dakota is also sporting the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 3.2 percent, the report said.
Overall, unemployment levels fell in 22 states but increased in 16 states and in Washington, D.C., in December. Jobless rates remained the same in a dozen states.
Nationally, the jobless rate is at 7.8 percent.
The biggest improvement was in Nevada. It's had the highest jobless rate among all states for more than a year. Last month, the rate fell to 10.2 percent from 10.8 percent, tying it with Rhode Island.
Other states that saw decent declines in jobless levels include Alabama, Connecticut, Idaho and Vermont.
In a related note, a Gallup Poll asked people whether this was a good time to find a quality job. Older adults were the most pessimistic.
Here's the breakdown:
- 16 percent of people 65-plus said yes; 79 percent said no
- 22 percent of people 50 to 64 said yes; 74 percent said no
- 26 percent of people 30 to 49 said yes; 68 percent said no
Photo credit: jdnx via flickr.com