Unemployment rates declined last month in more than half of the 372 largest U.S. cities. However California’s Central Valley took eight of the top 10 spots for the worst joblessness in the nation.
The Labor Department said Wednesday that rates fell in 201 metro areas. They rose in 116 and were unchanged in 55. And the number of cities with unemployment below 7 percent rose to 180 last month, up from 107 a year ago.
Yuma, Arizona, topped the list of most unemployed with a rate of 29.8 percent. Central Valley cities claimed the next eight spots. Modesto, Fresno, and Hanford-Corcoran were tied for sixth place at 13.9 percent.
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 adjusted for seasonal trends, such as the hiring of many part-time retail employees for the winter holidays. So they tend to be more volatile from month to month.