WASHINGTON (AP) - Unemployment rates fell in nearly all large US cities in September from August, a sign that recent jobs gains have been widespread.
The Labor Department says rates declined in 355 of the 372 metro areas, the most since April. The report also shows that nearly half of cities now have unemployment rates below 7 percent.
Rates rose in only 11 cities and were unchanged in six.
Nationwide, the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September. It was the first time the rate has fallen below 8 percent since January 2009 - President Barack Obama's first month in office.
Unlike the national numbers, the metro rates aren't adjusted for seasonal patterns. Much of the decline likely reflects school-related employees, such as bus drivers and cafeteria workers, who returned to work.
First Coast News