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States Add Jobs for Fourth Month as U.S. Cities Still Cutting

U.S. states hired workers for a fourth straight month in April, while further cuts by school districts pushed local government payrolls to the lowest since late 2005, the U.S. Labor Department reported today.

States added 1,000 workers to their payrolls last month, marking the longest stretch of increases since 2008, according to data released today by the Labor Department that’s adjusted to account for seasonal hiring patterns. Local governments, meanwhile, eliminated 12,000 jobs.

The employment figures show the differing pace of financial recovery for state and local governments. While state tax collections have risen for the past two years, many local governments are still struggling with budget shortfalls, in part because of a decline in home prices that results in smaller property tax payments.

The public sector job cuts are a drag on the economic recovery from the recession that officially ended three years ago. Overall, employers last month added 115,000 workers to their payrolls, the smallest gain in six months.

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