Unemployment rates fall in most US metro areas

May 31, 2012 - 11:38 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment rates fell in nearly all large U.S. cities in April from March, aided by summer hiring on farms and in tourist destinations.

The Labor Department says rates fell in 356 of the 372 largest U.S. metro areas. That tops last April, when 339 areas reported declines.

The economy has generated steady job growth for the past five months. That's helped lower the national unemployment rate from 9.1 percent in August to 8.1 percent last month.

Some cities that experienced steep declines last month depend heavily on summer tourism, such as Ocean City, N.J. Others, such as Visalia, Calif., are farm communities likely staffing up for the harvest.

The metro employment data isn't seasonally adjusted for such trends. As a result, it can be volatile from month to month.