Unemployment in California fell to 9.6 percent last month, down from 10.8 percent in February 2012.
California and Nevada are still tied with Mississippi for the nation’s highest unemployment rate.
Florida’s job market has also rebounded in the past year. The Sunshine State’s unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent in February, down from 9 percent a year earlier.
North Dakota once again held the nation’s lowest unemployment rate, at 3.3 percent. The state is benefiting from a boom in oil and natural gas production. Nebraska had the second-lowest rate, at 3.8 percent.
Overall, 42 states added jobs in February from January, and just eight lost jobs. The biggest monthly job gains came in Texas (up nearly 81,000) and California (up more than 41,000).
In the 12 months up to February, Texas gained nearly 294,000 jobs, and California 128,000. On a percentage basis, North Dakota reported the fastest job growth over the past year, rising 5 percent.