Nearly half of all U.S. states reported rising unemployment rates in March, the government said Friday, with rates above the national average in 11 states and the District of Columbia.
A total of 24 states suffered jobless rate increases in March, according to the Labor Department's monthly report. But rates declined last month in 17 states and the District of Columbia.
On an annual basis, jobless rates increased in 44 states and D.C. in March. That's down from a total of 46 states in February.
The Labor Department said earlier this month that the nation's economy gained 162,000 jobs in March. But the national unemployment rate held steady at 9.7% for the third month in a row.
Many economists and policymakers expect the nationwide jobless rate to remain elevated for some time to come, even as job growth slowly resumes.