Regional and state unemployment rates didn’t change much in the month of December. Only 22 states recorded a drop in their unemployment rate, 16 states and the District of Columbia showed gains, and 12 states remained the same, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Last month, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 27 states. Out of those states, New York added the most jobs with 35,100, followed by New Jersey with 30,200 new jobs.
Economists caution that the growth is still moderate, but it does indicate the region is rebounding from Hurricane Sandy. Also, recovery efforts may have been behind the increase with the need for rebuilding and cleanup efforts after the storm.
Overall, the national jobless rate held steady at 7.8 percent for both November and December 2012. That rate is a 0.7 percentage point lower than in December 2011.