Midwestern states lost thousands of jobs in March as the recovery stalled, U.S. Labor Department estimates released Friday show.

Ohio shed an estimated 20,400 jobs in March -- the most of any state. Other states recording notable job losses included Illinois (-17,800), Indiana (-12,400), Missouri (-8,600) and Wisconsin (-8,500). In all, 26 states reported declines in payroll employment last month, although most weren't considered statistically significant.

Other states enjoyed a better month. Florida led the nation with an estimated 32,700 jobs created, followed by California (+25,500) and Georgia (+13,600).

Over the year, payroll employment has expanded in nearly all states, led by Texas and California.

Unemployment rates -- measured using a different survey of households -- dipped in 26 states and the District of Columbia. Seven of these states saw their jobless rates decline 0.3 percent.

North Dakota and Nebraska are home to the country’s lowest unemployment rates, while Nevada continues to have the highest rate, 9.7 percent.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate stood at 7.6 percent in March.

Even though states have seen their rates decline, it’s also worth noting that fewer people are looking for work in some areas. The number of workers employed or seeking work declined by 496,000 last month, causing the labor force participation rate to drop from 63.5 to 63.3 percent.
 

State Employment Totals and Unemployment Rates:

 

             
State Monthly Change February Nonfarm Employment March Nonfarm Employment 3/2012 Jobless Rate 3/2013 Jobless Rate Year-Over-Year Change
Alabama 2,200 1,886,100 1,888,300 7.2 7.2 0
Alaska 100 335,100 335,200 7 6.2 -0.8
Arizona 7,500 2,489,300 2,496,800 8.4 7.9 -0.5
Arkansas 2,400 1,181,700 1,184,100 7.3 7.2 -0.1
California 25,500 14,566,600 14,592,100 10.7 9.4 -1.3
Colorado 500 2,353,100 2,353,600 8.2 7.1 -1.1
Connecticut 2,600 1,640,400 1,643,000 8.1 8 -0.1
Delaware -3,100 426,800 423,700 7 7.3 0.3
Florida 32,700 7,474,400 7,507,100 8.9 7.5 -1.4
Georgia 13,600 4,000,400 4,014,000 9.1 8.4 -0.7
Hawaii -500 609,800 609,300 6.2 5.1 -1.1
Idaho -900 635,400 634,500 7.4 6.2 -1.2
Illinois -17,800 5,794,000 5,776,200 8.8 9.5 0.7
Indiana -12,400 2,936,400 2,924,000 8.2 8.7 0.5
Iowa -5,500 1,522,700 1,517,200 5.4 4.9 -0.5
Kansas -5,900 1,373,300 1,367,400 5.8 5.6 -0.2
Kentucky -8,400 1,843,800 1,835,400 8.2 8 -0.2
Louisiana 2,800 1,941,400 1,944,200 6.8 6.2 -0.6
Maine -600 598,100 597,500 7.3 7.1 -0.2
Maryland 4,700 2,606,500 2,611,200 6.7 6.6 -0.1
Massachusetts -5,500 3,317,200 3,311,700 6.6 6.4 -0.2
Michigan -6,600 4,064,000 4,057,400 9 8.5 -0.5
Minnesota -5,200 2,775,300 2,770,100 5.7 5.4 -0.3
Mississippi 800 1,115,800 1,116,600 9 9.4 0.4
Missouri -8,600 2,686,700 2,678,100 7 6.7 -0.3
Montana -700 446,100 445,400 6.1 5.6 -0.5
Nebraska 1,400 964,300 965,700 3.9 3.8 -0.1
Nevada -2,900 1,159,100 1,156,200 11.6 9.7 -1.9
New Hampshire 900 637,800 638,700 5.3 5.7 0.4
New Jersey 8,100 3,939,400 3,947,500 9.3 9 -0.3
New Mexico 0 808,000 808,000 6.9 6.9 0
New York 11,200 8,865,900 8,877,100 8.5 8.2 -0.3
North Carolina -300 4,048,900 4,048,600 9.4 9.2 -0.2
North Dakota 500 440,700 441,200 3 3.3 0.3
Ohio -20,400 5,197,300 5,176,900 7.4 7.1 -0.3
Oklahoma -1,600 1,624,000 1,622,400 5.1 5 -0.1
Oregon 1,900 1,655,800 1,657,700 8.8 8.2 -0.6
Pennsylvania -5,900 5,748,200 5,742,300 7.6 7.9 0.3
Rhode Island 1,500 465,500 467,000 10.6 9.1 -1.5
South Carolina -600 1,879,900 1,879,300 9.3 8.4 -0.9
South Dakota 700 419,000 419,700 4.4 4.3 -0.1
Tennessee -6,600 2,758,400 2,751,800 8 7.9 -0.1
Texas -4,100 11,118,100 11,114,000 7 6.4 -0.6
Utah 6,800 1,281,500 1,288,300 5.8 4.9 -0.9
Vermont -400 306,700 306,300 4.8 4.1 -0.7
Virginia -5,700 3,761,200 3,755,500 5.9 5.3 -0.6
Washington -5,500 2,915,000 2,909,500 8.4 7.3 -1.1
West Virginia 400 769,000 769,400 7 7 0
Wisconsin -8,500 2,812,800 2,804,300 6.9 7.1 0.2
Wyoming 1,300 289,400 290,700 5.5 4.9 -0.6

 

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