• California, Florida showed biggest gains in hiring last month
  • South Dakota, New Hampshire had lowest jobless rates in nation

Payrolls showed statistically significant gains in 11 states in April and the unemployment rate fell in five, as the U.S. labor market recovery moderated.

California led the nation with a 59,600 increase in employment, followed by a 31,100 advance in Florida, figures from the Labor Department showed Friday in Washington. Minnesota and Missouri showed the biggest percentage gain in employment with each showing a 0.5 percent increase. States where payrolls declined included Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The unemployment rate dropped the most in Kentucky, where it fell by 0.3 percentage point to 5.3 percent. Pennsylvania showed the statistically significant increase in unemployment, where the rate jumped to 5.3 percent from 4.9 percent.

South Dakota had the lowest jobless rate in the U.S. at 2.5 percent in April, followed by New Hampshire at 2.6 percent. Arkansas’s unemployment reached a record low 3.9 percent.

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, thus making the national figures more reliable, according to the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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