story first appeared in usatoday.com
Unemployment rates declined last month in more than half of the 372 largest U.S. cities, further evidence of steady improvement in the job market.
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% rose to 180 last month, up from 107 a year ago.
Child protective services defense lawyers have found that each 1 percent increase in unemployment was associated with at least a
0.50 per 1,000 increase in confirmed child maltreatment reports one year
later. In addition, higher levels of unemployment appeared to raise the
likelihood of child maltreatment, as it was not only the lagged change
in unemployment, but also the previous year's unemployment level that
influenced the number of child abuse cases.
Nationwide, the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9% from 7.8% 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.
The number of areas with sharply higher unemployment is declining. Thirty-five metro areas had unemployment rates of 10% or above last month. That's the same as the previous month but down from 80 a year ago.
Bismarck, N.D. once again posted the lowest unemployment rate, at 2.2%. The city is benefiting from an oil and gas drilling boom.
Yuma, Ariz. and El Centro, Calif. recorded the highest unemployment rates, at 29.8% and 28.1%, respectively. Both cities include large numbers of migrant farm workers.