Unemployment rates fall to record lows in 4 US states

"Preliminary estimates indicate there was a record number of nonfarm and private sector payroll jobs in ME, which drove the unemployment rate to a new low", Glenn Mills, the state's chief economist, said in a Friday news release. The sectors that saw the largest job gains were in construction; trade, transportation, and utilities; and education and healthcare sectors.

The United States' jobless rate declined two-tenths of a percentage point, from 4.7 percent in February to 4.5 percent in March. But hiring has averaged about 175,000 jobs in the first three months of the year, similar to last year's pace. The labor force consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed and actively looking for jobs. For instance, the unemployment rate was lower among women than among men. The March rate in ME compares to a national unemployment rate of 4.5 percent last month.

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According to a separate state survey of businesses, total nonfarm payroll jobs were constant from February to March, with private sector jobs increasing by 100 and government payrolls decreasing by 100.

The newest snapshot of Miami-Dade's employment picture confirms a trend that stretches back to past year: The number of jobs in the county is rising steadily, but that growth still lags behind that of other major metros in Florida and the state as a whole. When the EDD adjusted for those seasonal factors, the number of payroll jobs in the county actually fell by 9,000 in March.

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Colorado, with a March unemployment rate of 2.6 percent, was among four states with the lowest rates since 1976. The rate was also 3.6 percent in March 2016. The government's portion of nonfarm jobs was 16 percent, which was the lowest share on record.

The number of unemployed workers decreased 8.4 percent from the prior month to 322,800, down 19.1 percent over the same month for the prior year.

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In the lower wage sectors of the economy, slowdown in job growth is already evident as wages rise. More than 12,000 of those jobs were in the Northwest Arkansas and Little Rock metropolitan areas, indicating that rural areas of the state continue to struggle, Jebaraj said. Combined, professional and business services and construction lost 2,500 jobs because of fewer hires than typically expected for March.


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