An increase in hiring helped lower unemployment rates in 37 U.S. states last month, the latest indication that the job market is slowly healing, a government report showed Tuesday. Unemployment rates are now below 7 percent in 23 of the 50 U.S. states, the Labor Department said. The department said rates rose in seven states in October and were unchanged in six. South Carolina\'s rate fell from 9.1 percent to 8.6 percent, the biggest drop. Nationwide, the unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent in October, but it has declined a full point in the past year. Employers added 171,000 jobs and hiring was stronger in August and September than first estimated, the department said.