Several key battleground states showed noticeable drops in the unemployment rate in Friday’s jobs report, the last to be released with state-by-state estimates before the November elections.

Seasonally-adjusted jobless rates fell in almost all states considered to be in play last month with the exception of Pennsylvania, where it increased 0.1 percent. September jobless rates remained unchanged for Virginia and New Hampshire.

Across the country, the U.S. Labor Department reported month-over-month unemployment rate declines in 41 states, while only six experienced an uptick. The estimates mirror the drop in the national unemployment rate, which fell from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September.

A few swing states recorded notable gains for the month.

Nevada’s unemployment rate -- the nation’s highest -- dipped 0.3 percent to 11.8 percent in September. The state added an estimated 7,100 jobs for the month, including a few thousand in the construction and business service sectors.

Colorado and Wisconsin, two other states the campaigns are targeting, each added jobs and saw their seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decline 0.2 percent.

The Labor Department’s household survey used to calculate the unemployment rate and the payroll survey of employers yielded contrasting results for some other states, likely to provide fodder for both presidential campaigns.

Pennsylvania added 17,800 jobs for the month -- second only behind Texas -- but its unemployment rate from the household survey actually rose 0.1 percent. Virginia’s nonfarm employment swelled by 11,500 positions, while its unemployment rate remained unchanged.

Ohio’s total payroll employment shrunk by 12,800 for the month, which is the largest loss of nearly every state, but its jobless rate still dipped 0.2 percent for the month to 7 percent. Similarly, Iowa also lost jobs, but its seasonally adjusted rate noticeably dropped 0.3 percent.

The unemployment rate considers the total size of a state’s labor force, which fluctuates as workers enter and exit the job market from region to region.

Texas (+21,000), Pennsylvania (+17,800) and the District of Columbia (+14,200) tallied the most net job gains over the month.

The Labor Department will release its October national jobs report Nov. 2 -- less than a week before Election Day.

State Employment Totals and Unemployment Rates for September:

 

             
State September Nonfarm Employment Change from August Change since 09/2011 August Unemployment Rate September Unemployment Rate Rate Change
Texas 10,857,600 21,000 262,700 7.1 6.8 -0.3
Pennsylvania 5,733,900 17,800 41,100 8.1 8.2 0.1
District of Columbia 739,600 14,200 6,600 8.8 8.7 -0.1
Illinois 5,711,500 13,800 52,500 9.1 8.8 -0.3
South Carolina 1,860,500 13,700 29,300 9.6 9.1 -0.5
Virginia 3,722,500 11,500 36,000 5.9 5.9 0
Maryland 2,581,300 9,800 25,500 7.1 6.9 -0.2
New York 8,825,000 9,600 125,000 9.1 8.9 -0.2
Kentucky 1,840,700 9,300 47,000 8.5 8.4 -0.1
California 14,347,900 8,500 262,000 10.6 10.2 -0.4
Nevada 1,136,100 7,100 6,000 12.1 11.8 -0.3
Arizona 2,469,500 7,000 53,100 8.3 8.2 -0.1
Colorado 2,300,200 7,000 37,300 8.2 8 -0.2
Minnesota 2,713,500 5,900 29,200 5.9 5.8 -0.1
Washington 2,880,600 5,300 57,600 8.6 8.5 -0.1
Maine 595,800 5,200 0 7.7 7.6 -0.1
Massachusetts 3,249,600 5,100 44,600 6.3 6.5 0.2
Georgia 3,942,100 3,800 56,300 9.2 9 -0.2
Tennessee 2,685,100 3,300 20,400 8.5 8.3 -0.2
Mississippi 1,085,400 3,200 -7,000 9.1 9.2 0.1
Nebraska 958,300 3,200 12,700 4 3.9 -0.1
Alabama 1,878,300 2,500 12,600 8.5 8.3 -0.2
Missouri 2,657,200 2,500 11,400 7.2 6.9 -0.3
Hawaii 605,700 2,300 12,300 6.1 5.7 -0.4
Utah 1,238,600 2,300 19,800 5.8 5.4 -0.4
Idaho 618,800 2,100 11,100 7.4 7.1 -0.3
Connecticut 1,626,100 2,000 1,900 9 8.9 -0.1
Rhode Island 458,000 2,000 -1,700 10.7 10.5 -0.2
Wisconsin 2,729,200 1,400 -4,800 7.5 7.3 -0.2
Delaware 416,200 1,300 200 6.9 6.8 -0.1
Florida 7,349,800 800 63,500 8.8 8.7 -0.1
Alaska 330,600 700 2,500 7.7 7.5 -0.2
Montana 434,200 600 7,900 6.3 6.1 -0.2
New Mexico 794,600 300 -10,600 6.5 6.4 -0.1
Vermont 302,900 100 2,600 5.3 5.4 0.1
North Carolina 3,953,000 100 31,500 9.7 9.6 -0.1
North Dakota 420,700 -1,000 22,300 3 3 0
South Dakota 407,600 -1,100 3,500 4.5 4.4 -0.1
New Jersey 3,905,400 -1,200 44,000 9.9 9.8 -0.1
Kansas 1,348,100 -1,400 10,200 6.2 5.9 -0.3
Wyoming 289,000 -1,500 3,000 5.7 5.4 -0.3
New Hampshire 625,700 -1,700 1,800 5.7 5.7 0
Arkansas 1,165,500 -2,600 10,800 7.3 7.1 -0.2
Indiana 2,899,600 -2,600 65,100 8.3 8.2 -0.1
West Virginia 747,500 -3,200 -10,000 7.5 7.6 0.1
Oklahoma 1,596,700 -3,700 39,600 5.1 5.2 0.1
Iowa 1,489,600 -4,200 11,500 5.5 5.2 -0.3
Louisiana 1,938,500 -6,700 23,300 7.4 7 -0.4
Oregon 1,631,600 -7,900 10,100 8.9 8.7 -0.2
Ohio 5,177,200 -12,800 88,700 7.2 7 -0.2
Michigan 3,982,700 -13,000 38,700 9.4 9.3 -0.1



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