Unemployment rates fell in 22 states in December, but few experienced significant changes for the month, according to Labor Department data released today.

New York added an estimated 35,100 jobs -- the most of any state -- driven by gains in the leisure and hospitality and business services sectors. Neighboring New Jersey netted 30,200 jobs for the month, followed by Georgia (14,400) and Missouri (10,200).

California, which has added about 225,000 jobs over the year, saw its payrolls decline by an estimated 17,500 positions. Other states recording notable losses for the month include Florida (-15,300) and Louisiana (-11,400).

Of the 22 states registering a decrease in December’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate, the Labor Department only considered the decline in five states to be statistically significant.  Nevada saw its jobless rate drop 0.6 percent for the month. Along with Rhode Island, it is the only state still with a double-digit unemployment rate, both at 10.2 percent.

The national seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate of 7.8 percent remained unchanged from November. The Labor Department calculates unemployment rates from a survey of households and nonfarm payroll data using a separate survey of businesses.

Updated figures will be released Feb. 1. in the January jobs report.

State Employment Totals and Unemployment Rates:

 

             
State Monthly Change November Nonfarm Employment December Nonfarm Employment 12/2011 Jobless Rate 12/2012 Jobless Rate Year-Over-Year Change
Alabama -1,800 1,879,900 1,878,100 8 7.1 -0.9
Alaska 1,300 327,400 328,700 7.4 6.6 -0.8
Arizona 700 2,478,600 2,479,300 9 7.9 -1.1
Arkansas -3,000 1,172,000 1,169,000 7.8 7.1 -0.7
California -17,500 14,416,300 14,398,800 11.2 9.8 -1.4
Colorado -2,400 2,319,000 2,316,600 7.9 7.6 -0.3
Connecticut -1,800 1,625,200 1,623,400 8.1 8.6 0.5
Delaware 900 418,000 418,900 7.2 6.9 -0.3
District of Columbia 1,800 733,800 735,600 10.1 8.5 -1.6
Florida -15,300 7,403,400 7,388,100 9.9 8 -1.9
Georgia 14,400 3,956,700 3,971,100 9.4 8.6 -0.8
Hawaii -4,000 612,400 608,400 6.6 5.2 -1.4
Idaho 2,000 621,900 623,900 8.3 6.6 -1.7
Illinois -7,600 5,725,500 5,717,900 9.7 8.7 -1
Indiana 6,000 2,900,800 2,906,800 8.9 8.2 -0.7
Iowa 300 1,493,900 1,494,200 5.6 4.9 -0.7
Kansas 7,400 1,343,300 1,350,700 6.4 5.4 -1
Kentucky -4,400 1,837,700 1,833,300 9 8.1 -0.9
Louisiana -11,400 1,961,900 1,950,500 7 5.5 -1.5
Maine -2,700 594,200 591,500 7 7.3 0.3
Maryland 4,900 2,584,200 2,589,100 6.6 6.6 0
Massachusetts 7,500 3,255,900 3,263,400 6.9 6.7 -0.2
Michigan -10,600 3,983,900 3,973,300 9.3 8.9 -0.4
Minnesota 9,100 2,726,100 2,735,200 5.7 5.5 -0.2
Mississippi -1,500 1,094,000 1,092,500 10.4 8.6 -1.8
Missouri 10,200 2,662,500 2,672,700 8 6.7 -1.3
Montana 500 434,900 435,400 6.6 5.7 -0.9
Nebraska -1,400 954,900 953,500 4.2 3.7 -0.5
Nevada 2,000 1,148,300 1,150,300 13 10.2 -2.8
New Hampshire -300 626,800 626,500 5.2 5.7 0.5
New Jersey 30,200 3,892,400 3,922,600 9.1 9.6 0.5
New Mexico 2,300 798,500 800,800 7 6.4 -0.6
New York 35,100 8,805,500 8,840,600 8.2 8.2 0
North Carolina 7,900 3,996,700 4,004,600 10.4 9.2 -1.2
North Dakota -700 422,000 421,300 3.3 3.2 -0.1
Ohio -9,400 5,194,400 5,185,000 7.9 6.7 -1.2
Oklahoma -2,000 1,602,500 1,600,500 6.3 5.1 -1.2
Oregon 2,000 1,637,000 1,639,000 9 8.4 -0.6
Pennsylvania -4,800 5,756,300 5,751,500 7.7 7.9 0.2
Rhode Island 1,200 457,600 458,800 11 10.2 -0.8
South Carolina 5,300 1,873,800 1,879,100 9.6 8.4 -1.2
South Dakota 300 408,900 409,200 4.3 4.4 0.1
Tennessee 6,000 2,703,900 2,709,900 8.5 7.6 -0.9
Texas 4,100 10,899,900 10,904,000 7.4 6.1 -1.3
Utah 2,300 1,257,800 1,260,100 5.8 5.2 -0.6
Vermont -400 305,000 304,600 5.2 5.1 -0.1
Virginia -5,000 3,739,000 3,734,000 6.1 5.5 -0.6
Washington -7,900 2,893,600 2,885,700 8.6 7.6 -1
West Virginia 900 746,000 746,900 7.8 7.5 -0.3
Wisconsin 1,300 2,727,600 2,728,900 7 6.6 -0.4
Wyoming -1,700 288,200 286,500 5.6 4.9 -0.7


NOTE: December figures are preliminary. Job totals and unemployment rates are seasonally-adjusted.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics