U.S. Economy

     (CN) – Unemployment rates in 16 states were far below the national rate in May, a trend that some economists believe might build pressure for higher wages in those areas.
     The Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday the unemployment rate now significantly below the national figure of 4.7 percent in 16 states and the District of Columbia about a third of the country.
     In one state in particular Arkansas the unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent in May, the lowest level there since 1976.
     The largest declines in the unemployment rate last month were in Tennessee (-1.7 percentage points) and Arkansas (-1.6 points).
     The only significant over-the-year rate increases occurred in Wyoming (+1.4 percentage points) and North Dakota (+0.4 point).
     South Dakota and New Hampshire had the lowest jobless rates in May, 2.5 percent and 2.7 percent,
     respectively.
     Employers added a significant number of jobs in just three states last month, while four states lost jobs. Employment was essentially unchanged in 43 states.

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