(CN) — Unemployment rates fell to record lows in Idaho and Tennessee in September, and dropped in 9 other states, the Labor Department said Friday.
The report confirms that strong hiring has driven down unemployment in most states in the past year, but it fails to explain why the numbers are so low in Idaho and Tennessee in particular.
Nationwide, the rate fell to 4.1 percent in October, a 17-year low. That is down from 4.8 percent a year earlier.
The department said the unemployment rate dropped to 2.8 percent in Idaho from 2.9 percent in the previous month. Tennessee’s rate fell more sharply, declining from 3.3 percent to 3 percent.
Both figures are the lowest on records dating back to 1976.
Employers added jobs in five states in September and cut them in six, the report said.
The biggest gains were in California, which added 52,200 jobs, followed by Washington state, with 13,800, and Indiana, which gained 11,400.
Florida lost 127,400 jobs due to damage caused by Hurricane Irma, but most of those job losses are seen as temporary.
Other states that saw significant job losses were New York, which shed 34,100, followed by Missouri, with 10,500.
Texas, which was slammed by Hurricane Harvey in late August, lost 7,300 jobs.