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Five states reached all-time unemployment lows in September

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Oct. 18 (UPI) — The unemployment rates for five states — Alabama, California, Illinois, New Jersey and South Carolina — have reached all-time lows, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday.

In its monthly report released in early October, the department said nationwide unemployment fell to a 50-year low of 3.5 percent. Further analysis released Friday showed new records since it began keeping state data in 1976.

Alabama’s unemployment rate fell to 3 percent, California was 4 percent, Illinois was 3.9 percent, New Jersey was 3.1 percent and South Carolina was 2.9 percent. South Carolina also had the largest monthly decline, a drop of 0.3 percent from August to September.

In September’s monthly jobs report, unemployment among Caucasians and men declined to 3.2 percent, while African Americans showed the highest unemployment rate, at 5.5 percent. Unemployment for adult women fell to 3.1 percent.

The domestic economy has averaged monthly job gains of 161,000 so far this year. That is down from the 223,000 jobs per month average from last year.

The greatest labor gains were seen in healthcare (39,000), professional and business services (34,000), government (22,000) and transportation and warehousing (16,000). The retail industry lost 11,000 jobs.

The report said wages in September showed an overall increase this year of just 2.9 percent, the lowest increase since July 2018.

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