updated 9/29/2010 2:11:19 PM ET 2010-09-29T18:11:19

The unemployment rate fell in nearly two-thirds of the nation's 372 largest metro areas last month, the broadest improvement since May.

The Labor Department says that the jobless rate dropped in 230 cities in August. It rose in 95 cities and was flat in 47. That's an improvement from the previous month, when rates fell in only 152 areas.

Twelve areas have jobless rates higher than 15 percent. That's down from 17 in July. The rate topped 10 percent in 124 cities, down only slightly from July's 127.

The biggest monthly declines in unemployment were in Mississippi and Michigan. Cities in Washington state and Louisiana, among others, saw the biggest increases.

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