MIAMI (CBS4) – More than three-quarters of the nation’s 372 largest metro areas reported lower unemployment rates in February than the previous month; South Florida, however, bucked the trend with a higher rate.

According to figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Labor Department, the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale jobless rate rose from 10.8 percent to 10.9 percent in February.

But it wasn’t all bad news.

The metro areas which posted the biggest job gains in February, compared with the previous month, were Miami-Fort Lauderdale, up 16,800; Los Angeles-Long Beach, with a gain of 53,600 and New York City-Northern New Jersey, a gain of 18,500.

Nationwide, private employers added more than 200,000 jobs in both February and March, the best two-month pace since 2006.

Lincoln, Nebraska reported the nation’s lowest unemployment rate at 4.2 percent. El Centro, California reported the highest unemployment rate at 26.9 percent.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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