Payrolls Drop in 28 U.S. States, Joblessness Up in 21

Payrolls decreased in 28 U.S. states and the unemployment rate climbed in 21, showing most parts of the world’s largest economy took part in the November labor-market setback.

North Carolina led the nation with 12,500 job cuts last month, followed by Massachusetts with 8,600 dismissals, and Ohio with 7,800, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. Joblessness increased most in Georgia and Idaho, while workers in Nevada faced the highest rate in the country at 14.3 percent.

The report is consistent with figures on Dec. 3 that showed unemployment increased last month for the first time since August. The Federal Reserve’s pledge to buy an additional $600 billion of Treasuries by June and the $858 billion bill passed by Congress extending all Bush-era tax cuts for two years may help boost growth and cut unemployment.

The report shows “an uneven distribution of improvement with some disappointing results,” said Russell Price, a senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Detroit. “We’ve seen pretty clear evidence that demand is starting to improve and with the tax program that was passed last night it should further accelerate. That increased demand is going to pull forward further improvements in employment.”

Leading Index

Another report showed the economy is poised to pick up in 2011. The index of leading economic indicators increased 1.1 percent in November, the biggest gain in eight months, the New York-based Conference said today. The reading matched the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

After Nevada, the jobless rate was highest in California and Michigan at 12.4 percent, today’s report from the Labor Department showed. Michigan, which is part of the so-called manufacturing Rust Belt, saw its unemployment rate drop by 0.4 percentage point, pushing it to the lowest level since February 2009, as the labor force shrank by 19,500 workers.

Yahoo! Inc., owner of the largest U.S. Web portal, is among companies still trimming payrolls. The firm is cutting about 600 jobs, or about 4 percent of its workforce, part of an almost two-year turnaround effort. The notification process began on Dec. 14 and most of the cuts will come from the product group, said Kim Rubey, a spokeswoman for Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo.

Unemployment in North Dakota, the lowest in the U.S., was unchanged at 3.8 percent.

November Payrolls

The Labor Department’s Dec. 3 report showed payrolls increased by 39,000 in November, less than the most pessimistic forecast of economists surveyed at the time by Bloomberg News, and the jobless rate climbed to 9.8 percent, the highest since April.

State and local employment data are derived independently from the national statistics, which are typically released on the first Friday of every month. The state figures are subject to larger sampling errors because they come from smaller surveys, making the national figures more reliable, according to the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Today’s report showed Texas led states with the biggest payroll gains as employers added 19,100 workers. New Jersey was second with an increase of 10,000.

The jobless rate held at 9.2 percent in New Jersey, rose to 8.3 percent from 8.2 percent in New York, and fell to 9 percent from 9.1 percent in Connecticut.

Unemployment in Georgia climbed by 0.3 percentage point to 10.1 percent in November after having fallen in the previous two months. Idaho’s rate climbed by the same amount to 9.4 percent, just short of the almost three-decade high of 9.5 percent reached in February.

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