Local unemployment rate improves as new college job seekers hit the market

The unemployment rate fell last month in more than three-quarters of nation's states, evidence that companies are feeling more confident in the U.S. economy.

The Labor Department says the unemployment rate dropped in 39 states in April. That's an improvement from March when 34 states had reported decreases.

In East Texas, the unemployment rate improved across the board. The Texas unemployment rate has dropped for the third consecutive month, falling to 8.0 percent in April.  The Texas Workforce Commission said Friday the state added another 32,900 jobs, the seventh consecutive month of job growth in Texas.

The rate rose in three states and the District of Columbia. It was unchanged in eight states.

Nationally, businesses have added more than 250,000 jobs per month, on average, in the past three months. It's the fastest hiring spree in five years. The unemployment rate has dropped nearly a full percentage point since November. Still, it remains very high at 9 percent.

The month of May kicks off job hunting season for many college graduates trying to land that first job. In addition to the standard application questions, companies are running credit checks on job applicants more often and are using that credit information as part of the process when making hiring decisions.

A job applicant credit report will show details about you and your finances, including your name, address, previous addresses, and social security number. It also shows the debt you have incurred including credit card debt, mortgage, car payment, student loans, and other loans and your payment history, including late payments and defaulted loans. A company must have your permission to check your credit.

What do you think? Should employers be able to check your credit? Take our KTRE.com web poll.

Copyright 2011 KTRE. Some information in this story provided by AP.  All rights reserved.