Unemployment rates fall to record lows in 4 US states

The number of private sector jobs also reached a new high at 523,200, with the largest gains in trade, transportation and utilities.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry said Friday Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was down two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.8 percent in March. The sector also lost 5,000 jobs between March of a year ago and this March.

"Unemployed Iowans continued to leave the labor force in March", Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said in a statement.

El Paso County is still called an affordable place to live, but with a low unemployment rate, home and rent prices rise as supply catches up to demand.

Boulder County's 2 percent unemployment rate in March was down from 2.8 percent in February; Larimer County, 2.1 percent, down from 3 percent; Broomfield County, 2.3 percent, down from 3.1 percent; and Weld County, 2.4 percent, down from 3.3 percent.

"We continue to see increases in employment and labor force expansion, as well as decreases in the unemployment rate throughout Virginia, strong signs that the Governor's mandate to build a new Virginia economy is working", said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore in the release.

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations noted that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the state was 2.7%, compared to 2.8% in February. Unemployment rates were lower than the statewide average in the state's three principal metro areas of Portland, Lewiston and Bangor, the department said.

During the past 12 months, March 2016 to March 2017, the state has recorded a net gain of 45,800 jobs.

The report comes a day after officials and university economists forecasted improved tax collections, shrinking the state's budget shortfalls. Registered nurses and truck drivers maintained their perpetual first and second spots for the largest number of hard-to-fill jobs based on the volume of listings.

The household survey shows 111,111 more people employed in the past year, an increase of 2.4 percent.

"The economic recovery is finally washing across Maine's shores", said Michael Donihue, an economics professor at Colby College.

In particular, private-sector employment was up 1.2 percent in New Mexico.

Counties with the lowest rates include Shelby (4.0), Elmore (4.4) and Cullman (4.5).

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