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Unemployment rates fall in less than half of US states in December amid slow hiring

Unemployment rates fell in less than half of U.S. states last month, as steady but slow hiring is making only gradual improvement in the job market.

The Labor Department says that rates fell in 22 states in December and rose in 16. They were unchanged in 12. Nationwide, the rate remained 7.8 percent.

The rate is now below 7 percent in 25 states. And some of the states hardest hit in the recession have seen solid gains. Nevada's unemployment rate, the highest in the nation, plummeted 0.6 percentage points last month to 10.2 percent.

Rhode Island's unemployment rate, also 10.2 percent, dropped from 10.4 percent in November.

California has the third-highest rate, at 9.8 percent, the same as the previous month but down from 11.2 percent a year ago.

Bank Rates

Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
30 Y Fixed Graph 4.01% dw 4.03%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 3.12% up 2.97%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.22% up 4.13%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.11% up 2.99%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.52% up 3.48%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.67% up 4.32%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.04% up 3.99%  
$30K Loan Graph 5.00% up 4.99%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.36% -- 4.36%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.36% -- 4.36%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 2.69% dw 2.83%  
36 M Used Graph 3.18% dw 3.36%  
48 M New Graph 3.02% dw 3.15%  
48 M Used Graph 2.91% dw 3.00%  
60 M New Graph 3.06% dw 3.16%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.39% up 0.38%  
1 yr Graph 0.70% -- 0.70%  
5 yr Graph 1.50% dw 1.51%