WASHINGTON – The unemployment rate fell or stayed the same in December in two-thirds of the nation’s largest metro areas, fresh evidence that employers are slowly adding jobs.
The Labor Department says the unemployment rate dropped in 207 of the 372 largest metro areas, the most to report a decline since September. The unemployment rate rose in 122 areas and was the same in 43.
Nationwide, the unemployment rate dropped sharply in December to 9.4 percent from 9.8 percent. About half that decline was because more unemployed workers gave up on their job searches. The government doesn’t count people as unemployed when they stop looking for work.