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Jobless Rates Drop or Hold Steady in Most Metro Areas

Unemployment rates fell or remained unchanged in two-thirds of the 372 largest U.S. metro areas in February. The news adds to evidence that the job market is improving.

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The Labor Department's report offers a brighter picture compared with the previous two months, when the jobless rate rose in most areas.

Unemployment fell in 189 metro areas in February. That compares with only three in January, though the report that month was distorted by an annual data revision. The rate fell in only 41 metro areas in December.

Still, joblessness remains widespread. Twenty-nine areas posted jobless rates of 15 percent or higher, though that's down from 35 in January.

The metro employment numbers aren't seasonally adjusted and can be volatile.

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