WASHINGTON — Jobs are hard to come by in every U.S. city, but you stand a better chance of getting hired if you live in Washington, Dallas or Boston.

Those three metropolitan areas topped the rest of the nation’s cities in jobs added in 2010.

And all three are home to industries that are poised to hire this year. Information technology companies, biomedical research firms and government contractors are growing industries that are likely to add to their payrolls in the coming months — and the federal government has plenty of jobs listed, too.

The unemployment rate fell in 207 of the 372 largest metro areas in December, the most to report a decline since September. It rose in 122 areas and was the same in 43, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate dropped sharply in December to 9.4 percent from 9.8 percent. About half that decline was because more unemployed workers gave up on their job searches. The government doesn’t count people as unemployed when they stop looking for work. The metro data lags behind the national data by several weeks.

The largest generators of net jobs were Washington, Dallas-Fort Worth, Boston, Phoenix, Ariz., and Minneapolis-St. Paul. All five metro areas have unemployment rates below the national average.

Boston, Dallas and Washington are among the top 10 areas with the most online job ads in January, according to the Conference Board’s help wanted index.

All three have benefited from growth in the information technology sector, economists said. Companies like Intel, which has a plant in the Boston region, are producing more semiconductors, and computer makers have also boosted output. Corporations are investing more in computer networking and data storage equipment.