Unemployment rates fell in three-quarters of large U.S. cities in November. The second straight month of declines for most major markets suggests the modest improvement in the job market is widespread.
The Labor Department said Wednesday that unemployment rates fell in 277 metro areas. They rose in 71 and were unchanged in 29. In October, 281 cities reported having lower unemployment rates, the most in seven months.
The metro area unemployment data can be volatile because they aren't adjusted for seasonal variations, such as hiring for the winter holiday.
Nationwide, the unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent in November, the lowest level in 2 ½ years. Employers added about 120,000 net jobs. Still, a big reason the unemployment rate fell was because more people said they have given up on their job searches and dropped out of the work force.
Below are the cities with the highest and lowest rates: