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States about even in job losses, gains

Payrolls dropped in 24 U.S. states in June and climbed in 26, indicating the labor market is struggling across much of the world's largest economy.

Tennessee led the nation with a 16,900 decrease in payrolls between May and June, according to figures the U.S. Labor Department released Friday. Texas, with 32,000 additional jobs, had the biggest employment gains. New York State's payrolls expanded by just 2,900 jobs.

As reported, Long Island's employment numbers, which the state reports on a year-to-year basis, show the Island had 6,800 fewer jobs last month, compared with June 2010, the biggest drop in 16 months.

The jobless rate rose in 28 states, including New York, where the rate ticked up to 8 percent in June from 7.8 percent in May. Nevada has the highest jobless rate, 12.4 percent; North Dakota the lowest, 3.2 percent.

Long Island's jobless rate inched up to 6.7 percent in May from 6.6 percent in April. The state Labor Department will report the June rate on Tuesday.

The national report is consistent with figures released last week that showed employers added 18,000 jobs nationwide in June, the fewest in nine months, and that unemployment rose to 9.2 percent, from 9.1 percent in May.

Hiring needs to accelerate to ensure consumers keep spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.

"We've yet to see broad-based gains across the U.S.," Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto, said before the latest report. "We're in a job market that's still far from normal or healthy."

-- Bloomberg News,

and Carrie Mason-Draffen

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