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Unemployment rate giving you the blues? Try these top five cities for jobs.

With the economy barely growing and investors bailing out of corporate stocks, the US job market isn't exactly sizzling. But conditions vary by region, with some metro areas showing substantial improvement over the past year, according to the Labor Department. Here are the five large metro areas with the lowest unemployment rates combined with unemployment that is down at least half a percentage point over last year.

- Staff writer

The sun sets behind Enoch Kelly Haney’s sculpture 'The Guardian,' atop the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Okla., on July 9. (Bryan Terry / The Oklahoman / AP / File)

1. Oklahoma City: 5.7% unemployment

Among large US metro areas, Oklahoma City leads the low-joblessness list as of June, the latest metro numbers crunched by the US Labor Department. Only the District of Columbia (unemployment rate of 6.2 percent) comes close to matching it. And it's near the top of the "most-improved" list, with its unemployment rate falling 1.2 percentage points over the past year.

What does the city-on-the-plains have going for it? A balanced economy that wasn't knocked off its feet by boom-and-bust housing woes in the first place. Plus some extra fuel from its ties to the energy industry, one of the few sectors of the economy to show strength after the recession.

Oklahoma City employment features government jobs (it's the state capital) alongside financial firms and manufacturers like Boeing Co.

Note: If you tally a top-five list that includes smaller metro areas, Bismarck, N.D., tops that list with just 3.6 percent unemployment, followed by Lincoln, Neb., at 4.1 percent.


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