Almost all states ended the year with unemployment down from where the year started.
From December 2011, 42 states and the District of Columbia registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier while six states recorded increases, and two states had no change, according to the report.
Since November, though, 22 states recorded unemployment rate decreases, while 16 states and the District of Columbia registered increases and 12 states had no change.
The monthly changes were less uniform across the country, suggesting the speed of economic recovery varied geographically.
The national unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in December, unchanged from November but down from 8.5 percent in December 2011.