Twenty-seven states reported job losses in September, led by Missouri’s decline of 16,500. Hiring rose in 20 states, including Kansas, which had a rare good month by adding 4,900 nonfarm jobs.
But both states’ unemployment rates improved from August — Missouri’s rate fell from 5.6 percent to 5.3 percent, and Kansas’ rate fell from 4.6 percent to 4.4 percent. That’s possible, even with job losses such as Missouri’s, when substantial numbers of people quit looking for work or leave the workforce for other reasons.
Missouri said most of its job losses occurred in local governments. Pennsylvania was next with a reported decline of 16,400 jobs, mostly in health care, education and local government. Michigan shed 9,800 jobs, the third-largest decline, followed by Hawaii, where jobs fell 8,100.
Kansas’ gain came after months of subpar growth. Its total gain the previous 12 months is 8,700 nonfarm jobs, including September’s 4,900.
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Texas reported the nation’s biggest job gain in September, adding 26,600. The gains occurred in a range of industries, including retail, shipping, education, health care, and hotels and restaurants. New York added the second most, 12,000.
The national jobless rate was unchanged from August at 5.1 percent and was 0.8 percentage points lower than in September 2014. Unemployment rates fell in 37 states and rose in just seven from August to September. Six states said their unemployment rates were unchanged.
Total U.S. hiring faltered in August and September as manufacturers struggled with the impact of the strong dollar and weak growth overseas. At the same time, consumers have spent cautiously. Growth probably slowed sharply in the July-September quarter to an annual rate of about 1.3 percent, compared with a 3.9 percent pace in the second quarter.
The Star’s Greg Hack contributed to this report.