Employers in most states didn't add any net new jobs last month. The number of jobs on employer payrolls fell in 35 states in December, the department said. Only 15 states reported gains. Layoffs have slowed dramatically in the past year, but hiring has yet to pick up.
Texas and South Carolina reported the biggest net job gains in December. Texas added 20,000 positions; South Carolina gained 9,000.
Nevada, still suffering from a massive housing bust, posted the nation's highest unemployment rate at 14.5 percent. That's up from 14.3 percent the previous month and the state's highest on records dating from 1976. California reported the second-highest rate, at 12.5 percent, followed by Florida at 12 percent.
North Dakota's unemployment rate of 3.8 percent was the nation's lowest. It's followed by Nebraska and South Dakota, with 4.4 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.
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