In this Aug. 24, 2010 photo, job seekers wait on line at a career fair in Newark, N.J. The U.S. economy grew unevenly in early fall, with more than half the regions of the country expanding modestly while others are struggling to grow. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Unemployment rates fell in two-thirds of large U.S. metro areas in July, a sign of widespread improvement in the job market.
The Labor Department says unemployment rates fell in 239 of the nation's 372 largest cities in July. That's the most since April. Rates rose in 103 and were unchanged in 30.
The U.S. unemployment rate fell last month to a 4 ½-year low of 7.4 percent. That's down from 7.6 percent in June. Employers added 162,000 jobs. That's enough to lower the unemployment rate but below the average monthly gain of 192,000 this year.
Fewer cities are reporting unusually high unemployment rates. Forty-one cities reported a rate above 10 percent last month, down from 67 a year earlier.