The economy continues to improve, albeit slowly, as unemployment is down in 42 states compared to this time a year ago, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Unemployment dropped in 37 states last month.

Seven states saw unemployment rise and six states had no change for the month. Only eight states have higher unemployment now than in October 2011.

 North Dakota, at 3.1 percent, had the lowest unemployment rate among the states last month. It was followed by Nebraska, 3.8 percent; South Dakota, 4.5 percent; Iowa, 5.1 percent; and Utah and Wyoming, tied at 5.2 percent.

Nevada led the states with the highest unemployment rate, at 11.5 percent for October. That is still lower than at the height of the recession when the state's unemployment rate stayed near 15 percent for almost a year. Among states with the highest unemployment last month, Nevada was followed by Rhode Island, 10.4 percent; California, 10.1 percent; New Jersey, 9.7 percent; and North Carolina, 9.3 percent.

The largest increase in jobs last month came in California, where more than 45,800 new jobs were created. It was followed by Texas, with about 36,600 new jobs, and Georgia, with 16,100 new jobs.

Michigan lost the most jobs during October, losing 16,500 positions. It was followed by New Jersey, down 11,700 jobs, and Minnesota, which lost 8,100 positions.