Unemployment rates in West Virginia and Ohio dropped slightly in May, while Kentucky's stayed the same as it was in April, the three states' employment agencies reported.
West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.8% in May.
WorkForce West Virginia says it's the lowest rate for the state since November 2008.
The number of unemployed state residents fell by 800 last month to 37,800. Total nonfarm employment has increased 5,200 since May 2018.
In the goods-producing sector, there were job losses of 1,300 in construction and 200 in mining and logging. But those were offset in the service-providing sector by employment gains of 900 in professional and business services, 500 in trade, transportation and utilities, 400 in leisure and hospitality, and 100 each in government and information.
Nationally, the unemployment rate stayed at 3.6%.
Ohio's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1% last month, down from the revised 4.2% in April and 4.6% in May 2018.
The state rate remained higher than the national rate of 3.6% last month. That was unchanged from April and down a bit from 3.8% a year earlier.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says Ohio's nonagricultural wage and salary employment decreased by 3,900 from April to May.
The sectors reporting job gains included manufacturing and leisure and hospitality. The agency reports job losses in areas including construction, financial activities, and educational and health services.
Kentucky's Center for Statistics says the state's seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 4% last month. The preliminary figure matched April's rate but was down from the 4.4% rate in May 2018.
State officials say Kentucky's leisure and hospitality sector added 1,800 positions from April to May of this year. They say construction employment increased by 800 jobs in May, while employment in the educational and health services sector rose by 200 jobs last month.
They say employment in the state's professional and business services sector fell by 1,100 jobs in May. The financial activities sector reported 600 fewer jobs in May.