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Bureau Of Labor Statistics Reports Unemployment Lower In 290 Metropolitan Areas

By Kendra Ablaza, Staff Writer

January 30, 2013 - Unemployment rates fell in 290 of 372 metropolitan areas in December 2012 compared to December 2011, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. For the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan area, the unemployment rate fell from 10.7 percent in December 2011 to 9.3 percent in December 2012.

Last month, areas with unemployment rates below 7 percent improved from 122 in 2011 to 158 in 2012. Areas with jobless rates of at least 10 percent also dropped to 47 compared to 70 a year ago.

The areas with the highest unemployment rates in December 2012 were El Centro, California, at 25.5 percent and Yuma, Arizona, at 27.3 percent. Midland, Texas, recorded the lowest unemployment rate last year with 3.1 percent.

Of the 372 metropolitan areas, 68 reported a higher unemployment rate in December 2012 compared to a year ago, while 14 areas remain unchanged.