ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) â¿¿ The unemployment rate rose last month in upstate New York and held steady in the New York City metropolitan area compared to a year earlier. The Department of Labor statistics released Tuesday showed the rate stood at 8.4 percent in the 52-county upstate region in December. It was 7.9 percent in December 2011. The metro area rate was 8.2 percent, compared to 8.1 percent a year earlier. The counties with the lowest rates were Tompkins, Putnam, Rockland, Nassau and Westchester, ranging from 5.6 to 7 percent. The highest rate was in the Bronx at 11.9 percent. That was followed by Oswego, Orleans, Hamilton, Essex and Lewis counties, with rates between 11 and 10.7 percent. The department reported last week that the overall December unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in December.