The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania, the nation's sixth-largest state by population, declined to 5.7 percent from 6 percent as the state gained nearly 11,000 jobs. Ohio, the seventh-largest, saw a similar improvement. Its rate fell to 5.7 percent from 6.1 percent, with employers creating 12,600 new jobs.
Nationally, businesses and government agencies added 288,000 new positions in April, the biggest burst of hiring in 2½ years. The unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent from 6.7 percent.
Rhode Island reported the highest unemployment rate at 8.3 percent, followed by Nevada at 8 percent. Both states saw significant improvement, with Rhode Island's rate falling from 8.7 percent and Nevada's from 8.5 percent.