WASHINGTON – Unemployment rates fell in nearly 90 percent of large U.S. metro areas in August, mainly because more people gave up looking for work.
The Labor Department says unemployment rates dropped in 329 large cities, the most in four months. Rates rose in 24 cities and were unchanged in 19.
The decline in rates across America's cities was largely for a bad reason: The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively looking for work.
The trend closely matched the national figures. The U.S. unemployment rate fell in August to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent also because more people stopped searching for jobs and weren't counted.
The metro data are more volatile than the national figures because they aren't adjusted for seasonal factors, such as summer hiring.