WASHINGTON -- The unemployment rate fell or held steady in 40 states in January, the latest sign that hiring is strengthening throughout the country.
The Labor Department says the unemployment rate fell in 24 states and remained the same in 16. The unemployment rate rose in only 10 states. In December, the rate fell in 15 states and rose in 20.
Employers added to their payrolls in 35 states in January, up from only 15 in the previous month. That's the most to report higher payrolls since October.
Nationwide, employers added 63,000 net jobs in January, and the unemployment rate fell sharply to 9 percent from 9.4 percent. The rate ticked down last month to 8.9 percent and employers added 192,000 net jobs.