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Rates rose in September in only 11 cities and were unchanged in six.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September. It was the first time the rate has fallen below 8 percent since January 2009 — President Obama’s first month in office.

Unlike the national numbers, the metro rates aren’t adjusted for seasonal patterns. Much of the decline likely reflects school-related employees, such as bus drivers and cafeteria workers, who returned to work.

The report on local unemployment rates comes a week before the presidential election. Many hard-hit cities in key swing states have seen their rates drop in the past year, although some still have rates well above the national level.

For example, the unemployment rate in Las Vegas was 11.5 percent last month. That’s down from 14 percent a year ago.

In the Miami metro area, the rate fell to 8.4 percent last month, from 10.4 percent a year earlier.

Still, other cities that could help decide the election have much lower unemployment.

IRS

Sandy delivers taxpayers extra time for payments

The IRS is giving taxpayers and tax preparers hit by Hurricane Sandy an extra week to file returns and make payments.

The tax agency says the relief will apply mainly to businesses in the storm-impacted Northeast and mid-Atlantic states whose payroll- and excise-tax returns and payments are normally due on Wednesday. The deadline will be extended until Nov. 7. No action is required by the taxpayer to obtain the extension.

The IRS says additional filing and payment relief will be granted as the Federal Emergency Management Agency makes further disaster declarations. Details can be found on the Tax Relief in Disaster Situations page of IRS.gov.

INDIANA

Democratic hopeful cautious over using abortion as issue

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Democratic Senate hopeful Rep. Joe Donnelly is walking a careful line on his Republican rival’s remark about abortion after rape, wary of alienating conservative voters in the Republican-leaning state.

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