Unemployment increases coming to a stop?

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Unemployment declined last month in most of the nation.

Overall, regional and state unemployment rates were lower in June. Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia reported decreases in their unemployment rates. Only five states had increases, while six states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Although 24 states saw rate increases from a year ago, 22 states and the District of Columbia had decreases, while 4 states had no change.

Nationally, the jobless rate declined 0.2 percent to 9.5 percent, the same as June 2009.

In 2010, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in 28 states, increasing in 22 states and the District of Columbia.

Colorado was among the states with the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment, shedding 31,200 jobs.

The largest percentage decreases occurred in New Mexico, -2.2 percent, followed by Nevada, -2.0 percent, Rhode Island, -1.7 percent, Georgia, -1.5 percent, Colorado, -1.4 percent, and California, -1.3 percent.

Regionally, the Pacific had the highest unemployment rate in June, at 11.4 percent. The West North Central region reported the lowest rate, at 7 percent, followed by the West South Central, at 7.9 percent.

Nevada again hit the highest unemployment rate among the states, 14.2 percent, followed by Michigan, 13.2 percent, California, 12.3 percent, and Rhode Island, 12 percent.

Throughout the nation, 25 states posted jobless rates substantially lower than the national rate of 9.5 percent, while 10 states had measurably higher rates, and 15 states and the District of Columbia had comparable rates.

Five of Colorado’s large counties reported declines in employment greater than the national average of 4.1, during 2009.

Weld County had the largest drop, down 6.6 percent over the year, followed by Adams County at 5.3 percent.

Of the four counties that recorded lower-than-average rates of employment loss, El Paso County had the smallest decrease, down 3.7 percent.

In December, employment was highest in Denver County, 420,200,  among the nine largest counties in Colorado.

Three other counties – El Paso, Arapahoe and Jefferson – saw employment levels greater than 200,000.

Combined, these nine large counties accounted for 79.3 percent of total employment within the Colorado.