Unemployment rates were little changed in most states in September, as a recovery in the labor market remained sluggish across the country.

The Labor Department reported that 23 states and Washington DC experienced jobless-rate decreases, while the rate rose in 11 regions and was unchanged in 16.

States hardest-hit by the housing bust, such as Florida and California, continue to struggle with double-digit unemployment rates. Nevada remained the state with the highest unemployment rate in the nation — 14.4% — more than percentage point higher than the 13% recorded in second-place Michigan. In all, 15 states had rates above the 9.6% national figure released earlier this month.

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