June 8 Job creation in May slowed to a crawl, but a boost in the number of manufacturing jobs in the Midwest in April, "helped to lower the nation's economic stress" to its lowest level in five months, according to an analysis by the Associated Press.
Also adding to the improvement were lower home foreclosure rates in California and Florida, where the housing market has been slammed.
According to the AP analysis, "economic stress" dropped in 48 of 50 states, with the exception of Louisiana and Nevada, and declined in 90% of the nation's counties.
The monthly AP analysis calculates a score for each state from 1 to 100 based on several key economic factors: unemployment, foreclosure rates and bankruptcy rates. A higher score means more stress. The average county score was 10.6 in April. In March it was 11.5. Any county with a score above 11 is considered to be "stressed."