Unemployment rates ticked up in 44 states in July as slow economic growth failed to keep pace with a persistent shortage of jobs.

Labor Department data released Friday shows 18 of these states experienced jobless rate hikes considered to be statistically significant. Only Idaho and Rhode Island recorded slight declines for the month.

Nonfarm payroll employment, which is measured with a separate survey than the unemployment rate, increased in 31 states and the District of Columbia.

California added another 25,200 jobs after payrolls grew by 45,000 from May to June. These gains were not enough, though, to lower the state’s monthly jobless rate.

Michigan (+21,800) and Virginia (+21,300) recorded the next-highest job gains in July.

New Jersey lost an estimated 12,000 jobs, the most of any state for the month, pushing the state’s jobless rate up to 9.8 percent -- the highest on record since 1977. Democrats used the figures as an opportunity to fault Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

"What I want to see is this administration admit it is failing in terms of getting people back to work,” said State Senate President Steve Sweeney. “The people of this state deserve nothing less than that.”

Nevada’s unemployment rate increased from 11.6 to 12 percent in July, still the highest rate of any state. The Las Vegas metro area is home the highest rate within the state -- 12.9 percent, according to Labor Department data. But despite the overall increase, the state’s jobless rate has still plunged 1.8 percent year-over-year.

Preliminary numbers estimate that the nation added 163,000 total jobs in July -- the most since February. But public-sector payrolls continued to shrink, shedding a combined 9,000 jobs for the month.

The national unemployment rate remained nearly unchanged for the month, with the Labor Department reporting a seasonally adjusted rate of 8.3 percent. White House economic adviser Alan Krueger wrote that more precise estimates indicate the rate rose from 8.217 percent in June to 8.254 percent in July.

State Employment Totals and Unemployment Rates for July:

 

           
State Monthly Employment Change Year-Over-Year Employment Change Year-Over-Year Change (%) July Unemployment Rate Rate Change from 7-2011
Alabama 4,200 5,900 0.32 8.3 -0.9
Alaska -3,400 -1,800 -0.55 7.7 0.1
Arizona 3,300 56,400 2.35 8.3 -1.3
Arkansas -2,400 9,400 0.81 7.3 -0.9
California 25,200 365,100 2.61 10.7 -1.2
Colorado 4,500 37,300 1.65 8.3 0
Connecticut 5,100 7,100 0.44 8.5 -0.4
Delaware -900 -200 -0.05 6.8 -0.6
District of Columbia 3,400 10,200 1.40 8.9 -1.6
Florida -3,300 69,900 0.96 8.8 -1.8
Georgia 6,300 50,800 1.31 9.3 -0.7
Hawaii 2,800 6,200 1.05 6.4 -0.4
Idaho -2,600 8,000 1.32 7.5 -1.4
Illinois -7,100 28,600 0.51 8.9 -1.2
Indiana 10,700 62,500 2.21 8.2 -1
Iowa 2,300 12,500 0.84 5.3 -0.7
Kansas 6,800 18,800 1.41 6.3 -0.4
Kentucky 1,600 36,800 2.05 8.3 -1.4
Louisiana -1,900 40,800 2.15 7.6 0.3
Maine 1,800 1,700 0.29 7.6 0
Maryland 800 22,600 0.89 7 -0.2
Massachusetts 1,600 42,800 1.33 6.1 -1.3
Michigan 21,800 59,800 1.52 9 -1.6
Minnesota 6,800 56,700 2.14 5.8 -0.8
Mississippi -2,100 -4,600 -0.42 9.1 -1.8
Missouri -7,700 -13,100 -0.49 7.2 -1.4
Montana 700 5,200 1.22 6.4 -0.6
Nebraska -600 16,700 1.78 4 -0.5
Nevada 2,100 10,300 0.92 12 -1.8
New Hampshire -2,600 -2,400 -0.38 5.4 -0.1
New Jersey -12,000 40,200 1.04 9.8 0.4
New Mexico 500 -2,600 -0.32 6.6 -0.9
New York -3,700 113,300 1.30 9.1 0.9
North Carolina 1,800 36,800 0.94 9.6 -1.1
North Dakota 800 26,800 6.81 3 -0.6
Ohio 11,000 100,300 1.97 7.2 -1.7
Oklahoma 1,900 37,100 2.39 4.9 -1.3
Oregon 1,800 17,100 1.06 8.7 -0.9
Pennsylvania -3,100 20,000 0.35 7.9 -0.2
Rhode Island -1,200 -7,300 -1.58 10.8 -0.6
South Carolina 3,800 10,900 0.59 9.6 -0.9
South Dakota -1,600 2,300 0.56 4.4 -0.2
Tennessee 6,400 32,900 1.24 8.4 -1
Texas 17,800 222,500 2.10 7.2 -0.9
Utah 1,300 25,000 2.07 6 -0.8
Vermont 2,500 6,000 2.00 5 -0.6
Virginia 21,300 65,600 1.78 5.9 -0.5
Washington 7,300 52,800 1.87 8.5 -0.8
West Virginia -500 500 0.07 7.4 -0.7
Wisconsin -6,500 -21,900 -0.80 7.3 -0.3
Wyoming -900 -900 -0.31 5.6 -0.4



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