They fell in only 8 states and were unchanged in 17.
Nationwide, employers added only 119,000 jobs in January, the fewest in seven months.
The lull may be temporary, as job growth picked up nationally in February and the unemployment rate fell to a four-year low of 7.7 percent.
Florida’s unemployment rate fell below the national level for the first time in five years.
Washington’s preliminary unemployment picture showed that the state jobless rate was unchanged from December at 7.5 percent, even though the state added 24,100 jobs, according to state data.