Employers add jobs in 30 US states in January, cut in 20

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers stepped up hiring in 30 states in January, led by big gains in Florida, Texas and North Carolina. Meanwhile, 20 states shed jobs.

The Labor Department says the unemployment rate dropped in 28 states, rose in 8 and was unchanged in 14. The unemployment rate doesn't always decline even when more hiring occurs, because more Americans may start job hunting and push up the rate even as others are hired.

Job gains slowed nationwide in January, as employers added just 172,000 positions. That is below the average pace of hiring last year. The strong dollar and weak overseas economies cut into U.S. factory employment, while low oil prices also caused widespread layoffs by drilling companies.

Pennsylvania, New Jersey and South Carolina reported the biggest job losses.