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Jobless rates rose in two-thirds of cities

Unemployment rates rose in more than two-thirds of U.S. cities last month, evidence that the slowdown in hiring last month was felt nationwide.

The Labor Department said unemployment rates increased in 255 of the nation’s 372 largest metro areas. They fell in 87 and were unchanged in 30. That compares with April, when rates fell in 356 areas.

Many of the cities with the biggest changes are home to colleges and universities, where students likely began searching for summer jobs. Unlike the national figures, the local unemployment data aren’t seasonally adjusted to account for such trends.

Nationwide, the rate rose last month to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in April. Job growth nationwide has slowed sharply in recent months, raising concerns about the strength of the economic recovery.

ELECTION

Judge refuses to block Florida voter-roll purge

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A federal judge has refused to stop Florida from removing potentially non-U.S. citizens from its rolls.

The U.S. Department of Justice sued the state to halt the purge, arguing it was occurring too close to a federal election.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle said Wednesday there is nothing in federal voting laws that prevents the state from identifying non-U.S. citizens, even if it comes less than 90 days before the Aug. 14 election.

Judge Hinkle ruled that federal laws are designed to block states from removing eligible voters close to an election. He said they are not designed to stop states from blocking voters who should have never been allowed to vote in the first place.

Gov. Rick Scott praised the decision, saying “irreparable harm will result if noncitizens are allowed to vote.”

ECONOMY

Stockton bankruptcy tough blow for retirees

STOCKTON, Calif. — When Stockton becomes the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy, it will strike a hard blow to residents, especially city employees and retirees whose health benefits and pensions helped drive the city toward insolvency.

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