May 17, 2013 03:25 PM EDT

Unemployment Rate Drops in 40 States

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Unemployment rates fell in 43 out of the 50 U.S. states and in the District of Columbia in April from a year before, according to Labor Department data released on Friday. The declines show the job market is improving throughout most of the country.

The report said that unemployment rates increased in only three states: Louisiana, Tennessee and North Dakota. Rates were unchanged in seven states.

California, New York and South Carolina all reported the largest unemployment rate declines in April. Each state's rate fell by 0.4 percentage points.

A couple of states, including Illinois, Delaware, Indiana, Wisconsin, Mississippi and New Hampshire saw their jobless rates rise over the year. Illinois' rate fell in April to 9.3 percent from 9.5 percent in March but rose from 8.8 percent a year before.

"April data reflects the unevenness of this recovery," said the director of the Illinois employment department, Jay Rowell, in a statement. "This uneven path forward likely will continue until consumer and business confidence can be sustained at the national level."

The report goes on to show that Texas has created 41,500 construction jobs in the past year. That's helped the state be the nation's leader in job growth over the past year. The state added 33,100 jobs last month and 326,100 jobs over the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, Texas' unemployment rate remained at 6.4 percent in April compared with March, but has dropped from 7 percent a year ago.

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