Unemployment rates rose in July in more than half the states for the second straight month, evidence that job growth remains weak nationwide.
The Labor Department says unemployment increased in 28 states, fell in nine and remained unchanged in 13. Those are nearly the same figures as in June, when unemployment rose in 28 states, fell in eight and was unchanged in 14.
Nationwide, hiring picked up slightly in July. The economy added 117,000 jobs, roughly double the number in each of the previous two months. The unemployment rate fell to 9.1 percent.
Still, hiring has slowed sharply this year - from an average of 215,000 net jobs a month from February through April to an average of 72,000 in May through July.
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