- Associated Press - Friday, December 22, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - Unemployment rates dropped to record lows in Alabama, California, Hawaii, Mississippi and Texas in November.

The Labor Department’s report on state unemployment released Friday showed rates fell in 19 other states, a positive sign for U.S. economic growth. Over the past 12 months, 27 states have added payroll jobs. Job totals have essentially been unchanged in 23 other states.

During the past year, the largest absolute gains were in Texas, where the number of jobs climbed 330,600. California was second in job additions with 288,300. These states also led in month job gains. Alaska and North Dakota shed jobs between October and November.

Hawaii reported the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 2 percent. The unemployment rate was below 2.7 percent in Nebraska, New Hampshire and North Dakota. In total, 17 states have unemployment rates below this national average of 4.1 percent.

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