The Bureau of Labor Statistics says 224 metro areas reported unemployment rates below the U.S. figure of 8.2%. 137 areas reported rates above it, and 11 had rates equal to that of the nation.
Greater Houston unemployment fell nearly a full percentage point to 7.6% in November 2011 from 8.5% in November 2010.
Of the metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, Miami-Fort Lauderdale saw the largest year-over-year drop in unemployment, with a decline of 2.5 percentage points. The only large area with an over the year jobless rate increase was Chicago, which rose 0.6 of a percentage point.
The BLS also says nearly two-thirds of the nation’s metro areas reported over-the-year increases in hiring. Greater Houston led the nation with nearly 88,000 new jobs. Dallas-Fort Worth came in second with more than 57,000. Boston was third with over 50,000.