Unemployment rates fall in 31 US states, most gain jobs in final pre-election report

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Unemployment rates fell in 31 U.S. states in September, including many currently embroiled in tough political campaigns. The report is the final data on state unemployment before the midterm elections Nov. 4.

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The Labor Department says that unemployment rates rose in 8 states and were unchanged in 11 states. That is the smallest number of states to see an increase since April.

Employers added jobs in 39 states and cut jobs in 10. South Dakota's job count changed little.

Colorado and Kentucky, two states with hard-fought Senate campaigns, experienced the biggest declines in unemployment. Colorado's fell to 4.7 percent from 5.1 percent, and Kentucky's rate dropped to 6.7 percent from 7.1 percent.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate declined to 5.9 percent in September, from 6.1 percent the previous month.