Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—March 18, 2016. Unemployment rates were lower in January than a year earlier in 333 of the 387 metropolitan areas, higher in 43 areas, and unchanged in 11 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Six areas had jobless rates of less than 3.0 percent, and 12 areas had rates of at least 10.0 percent. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 325 metropolitan areas, decreased in 55 areas, and was unchanged in 7 areas. The national unemployment rate in January was 5.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 6.1 percent a year earlier.
Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
Ames, Iowa, and Boulder, Colo., had the lowest unemployment rates in January, 2.5 percent each. El Centro, Calif., had the highest unemployment rate, 19.2 percent. A total of 187 areas had January jobless rates below the U.S. rate of 5.3 percent, 184 areas had rates above it, and 16 areas had rates equal to that of the nation. (See table 1.)
Ocean City, N.J., had the largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in January (-5.2 percentage points), followed by Atlantic City-Hammonton, N.J. (-4.8 points). Ten other areas had rate declines of at least 2.0 percentage points. The largest over-the-year rate increase occurred in Casper, Wyo. (+2.9 percentage points), followed by Odessa, Texas (+2.0 points).
Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., had the lowest unemployment rate in January, 3.0 percent. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., had the highest rate among the large areas, 6.7 percent. Forty-eight large areas had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases and three had increases. Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark., had the largest rate decrease (-1.8 percentage points). The largest over-the-year rate increase occurred in Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. (+0.5 percentage point).
Metropolitan Division Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
Eleven of the most populous metropolitan areas are made up of 38 metropolitan divisions, which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers. In January, San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, Calif., and San Rafael, Calif., had the lowest unemployment rates among the divisions, 3.2 percent each. Elgin, Ill., had the highest division rate, 7.5 percent. (See table 2.)
In January, 35 of the metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases and 3 had increases. The largest decline occurred in Camden, N.J. (-2.5 percentage points). The largest over-the-year rate increase occurred in Elgin, Ill. (+0.8 percentage point).
Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In January, 325 metropolitan areas had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 55 had decreases, and 7 had no change. The largest over-the-year employment increases occurred in New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. (+186,700), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif. (+133,400), and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+113,700). The largest over-the-year percentage gain in employment occurred in Ocean City, N.J. (+9.2 percent), followed by Cleveland, Tenn. (+7.6 percent), and St. George, Utah (+7.0 percent). (See table 3.)
The largest over-the-year decreases in employment occurred in Lafayette, La. (-11,800), Houma-Thibodaux, La. (-7,600), and Odessa, Texas (-6,600). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Odessa, Texas (-8.3 percent), Houma-Thibodaux, La. (-7.6 percent), and Casper, Wyo. (-6.9 percent).
Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in 50 of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more and decreased in Rochester, N.Y. (-0.2 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment in these large metropolitan areas occurred in Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. (+4.9 percent), followed by Austin-Round Rock, Texas (+4.7 percent), and Jacksonville, Fla. (+4.5 percent).
Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In January, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 37 of the 38 metropolitan divisions over the year and decreased in Lynn-Saugus-Marblehead, Mass. (-400). The largest over-the-year increase in employment among the metropolitan divisions occurred in New York-Jersey City-White Plains, N.Y.-N.J. (+156,900), followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+104,600), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (+93,300). (See table 4.)
The largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment among the metropolitan divisions occurred in Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Mass. (+5.5 percent), followed by San Rafael, Calif. (+5.0 percent), and Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas, and Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury Town, Mass.-N.H. (+4.5 percent each). The over-the-year percentage decrease in employment occurred in Lynn-Saugus-Marblehead, Mass. (-0.9 percent).
The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news release for February is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 25, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for February is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, April 6, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).