Unemployment rose in most cities and counties in December, signaling that companies remain reluctant to hire even as the economy recovers.
The unemployment rate rose in 306 of 372 metro areas, the Labor Department said Tuesday. The rate fell in 41 and was unchanged in 25. That's worse than November, when the rate fell in 170 areas, rose in only 154 and was unchanged in 48.
The metro employment numbers aren't seasonally adjusted and can be volatile. Many of the increases were due to seasonal factors.
For example, Ocean City, N.J., which bills itself as "America's Greatest Family Resort," saw its unemployment rate jump to 16.4 percent in December from 14.8 percent the previous month.
That's double the 8 percent it reported in July, even though the nation's economy was in worse shape then.
Ocean City is one of the 19 metro areas that reported unemployment rates of at least 15
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