WASHINGTON — The unemployment rate of metropolitan areas fell in about 60 percent of metropolitan areas in August from the previous month, as layoffs eased nationwide.
An AP analysis of Labor Department data found that the jobless rate dropped in 232 of 380 metro areas.
That's an improvement from July, when metro areas were split between those with rising and falling joblessness. It's also much better than in June, when the unemployment rate rose in about 90 percent of metro areas.
But in many cases the jobless rate declines in August were due to large numbers of people dropping out of the labor force. Economists say that usually indicates unemployed workers are becoming discouraged and giving up on their job searches.