WASHINGTON – Unemployment rates fell below 7 percent in a majority of U.S. cities in November, suggesting steady job gains are benefiting most parts of the country.
The Labor Department says rates fell in November from October in 215 of the 372 largest metro areas. Rates were unchanged in 33 and rose in 124.
Rates dropped below 7 percent in 192 cities. That's the first time since the recession ended that more than half of large cities had rates below that threshold. The department says 52 areas had rates below 5 percent.
Nationwide, the unemployment rate ticked down to 7.8 percent in November from 7.9 percent the previous month. That occurred mostly because more Americans out of work gave up looking for jobs and were not counted as unemployed.