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Payrolls rose in 32 states in August led by California, Florida

[WASHINGTON] Payrolls rose in 32 US states in August and the jobless rate fell in 29, adding to evidence that the labour market is supporting growth in the world's largest economy.

California led the nation with a 36,200 increase in employment, followed by a 19,600 gain in Florida, figures from the Labour Department showed Friday in Washington.

Employers have continued to add staff at a steady pace this year even as slower overseas growth has challenged demand. Faster job gains should help propel a pickup in wages, bolstering the consumer spending that makes up the biggest part of the US economy.

Hawaii showed the biggest percentage gain in employment with a 1.3 per cent increase, followed by Nebraska with a 0.6 per cent advance. States where payrolls declined the most included New York and Texas, where employment dropped by 13,700 each.

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South Carolina showed the biggest statistically significant drop in the unemployment rate, where it fell by 0.4 percentage point. New Mexico and Nebraska showed statistically significant increases in joblessness.

Nebraska still had the lowest unemployment rate in the US at 2.8 per cent in August. West Virginia's was the highest at 7.6 per cent.

Different Survey State and local employment data are derived independently from the national statistics, which are typically released on the first Friday of every month. The state figures are subject to larger sampling errors because they come from smaller surveys, thus making the national figures more reliable, according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics.

The national report showed payrolls advanced by 173,000 in August and the US jobless rate dropped to 5.1 per cent, the lowest since April 2008 and around the level that many Federal Reserve policy makers consider to be full employment. The less- than-forecast advance in payrolls followed gains in July and June that were stronger than previously reported.