By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment rates declined last month in more than half of the 372 largest U.S. cities, further evidence of steady improvement in the job market.
The Labor Department says rates fell in 201 metro areas. They rose in 116 and were unchanged in 55. The number of cities with unemployment below 7 percent rose to 180 last month, up from 107 a year ago.
Nationwide, the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in September. That was mostly because more Americans began searching for work but not all found jobs. Employers added 171,000 jobs in October and the previous two months were revised higher.
Unlike the national data, the metro unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. So they tend to be more volatile from month to month.