WASHINGTON (AP) - More than half of U.S. states saw their unemployment rates rise in August, the largest number in six months, as hiring weakened across the country.
The jobless rate increased in 27 states last month, the Labor Department said Tuesday. It fell in 13 and was unchanged in 10 states and Washington, D.C. That's worse than the previous month, when the rate increased in only 14 states and fell in 18.
It's also the most states to see an increase since February. Nevada, plagued by a vicious housing slump, reported the nation's highest unemployment rate for the fourth straight month, at 14.4 percent. That's a record high for the state.
The next highest rates were in Michigan, with 13.1 percent, and California, at 12.4 percent. North Dakota posted the lowest jobless rate, 3.7 percent, followed by South Dakota at 4.5 percent and Nebraska at 4.6 percent.
Much of the decline was due to the ending of 114,000 temporary census jobs nationwide. Overall, the economy lost a net total of 54,000 positions last month and the unemployment rate ticked up to 9.6 percent from 9.5 percent.
Private employers added a net total of only 67,000 jobs.