WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. companies have added jobs for 12 straight months, but the gains have been uneven. The latest government data suggest some states are recovering much faster than others from the recession, including a few that were hit the hardest.
The Labor Department says the unemployment rate dropped in 27 states in February. It rose in seven states and stayed the same in 16.
Forty-four states have added jobs from February 2010 through last month, including some that were badly battered during the downturn. California added nearly 200,000 net jobs, and Michigan created a net 71,000 jobs.
Still, six states reported a net loss in jobs in that time, including a few that weren't considered trouble spots: New Jersey, New Mexico, and Kansas.