Nov. Jobless Rates Down Over the Year in 351 of 372 Metro Areas; Payroll Jobs Up in 239

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—January 4, 2012. Unemployment rates were lower in November than a year earlier in 351 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 16 areas, and unchanged in 5 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Eight areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, while 25 areas registered rates of less than 5.0 percent. Two hundred thirty-nine metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 127 reported decreases, and 6 had no change.

The national unemployment rate in November was 8.2 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 9.3 percent a year earlier.

Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In November, 58 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent, down from 112 areas a year earlier, while 129 areas posted rates below 7.0 percent, up from 65 areas in November 2010. El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., recorded the highest unemployment rates in November 2011, 27.2 and 23.7 percent, respectively. The six remaining areas with jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent were located in California.

Bismarck, N.D., registered the lowest unemployment rate, 2.8 percent. The areas with the next lowest rates were Fargo, N.D.-Minn., and Lincoln, Neb., 3.1 and 3.2 percent, respectively. A total of 224 areas recorded November unemployment rates below the U.S. figure of 8.2 percent, 137 areas reported rates above it, and 11 areas had rates equal to that of the nation. (See table 1.)

The largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in November was registered in El Centro, Calif. (-3.7 percentage points). Five other areas recorded rate declines of 3.0 percentage points or more, and an additional 48 areas had decreases of at least 2.0 points. Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, Wash., reported the largest over-the-year jobless rate increase (+1.2 percentage points).

Of the 49 metropolitan areas with a Census 2000 population of 1 million or more, the highest unemployment rates in November were registered in Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., 12.5 percent each. Five additional large areas posted rates of 10.0 percent or more. The lowest jobless rate among the large areas was recorded in Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis., 5.1 percent. Forty-eight of the large areas reported over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, the largest of which was in Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla. (-2.5 percentage points). Seven other large areas reported rate decreases of at least 2.0 percentage points from November 2010. The only large area with an over-the-year jobless rate increase was Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. (+0.6 percentage point).

Metropolitan Division Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Eleven of the most populous metropolitan areas are made up of 34 metropolitan divisions, which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers. In November 2011, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif., registered the highest jobless rate among the divisions, 11.5 percent. Framingham, Mass., reported the lowest division rate, 4.7 percent, closely followed by Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Md., 4.8 percent. (See table 2.)

Thirty-one of the metropolitan divisions recorded over-the-year jobless rate decreases in November, while two divisions registered increases and one had no change. Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla., posted the largest rate decline from a year earlier (-3.2 percentage points). Two other divisions reported rate decreases of 2.0 percentage points or more: West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, Fla. (-2.2 points), and Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich. (-2.1 points). Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill., experienced the largest unemployment rate increase from a year earlier (+0.9 percentage point).

In 3 of the 11 metropolitan areas that contain divisions, the ranges between the highest and lowest division jobless rates were 2.0 percentage points or more in November. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H., recorded the largest rate difference among its divisions, 5.6 percentage points (Lawrence-Methuen-Salem, Mass.-N.H., 10.3 percent, compared with Framingham, Mass., 4.7 percent).

Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In November, 239 metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 127 reported decreases, and 6 had no change. The largest over-the-year employment increase occurred  in Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+87,900), followed by Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+57,300), Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H. (+50,400), and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. (+46,100). The largest over-the-year percentage gain in employment was reported in Hot Springs, Ark. (+7.0 percent), followed by Victoria, Texas (+6.3 percent) and Kankakee-Bradley, Ill. (+6.0 percent). (See table 3.)

The largest over-the-year decreases in employment occurred in Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. (-13,100), Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind. (-6,300), and Richmond, Va. (-6,000). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment were reported in Missoula, Mont. (-6.1 percent), Dalton, Ga. (-5.1 percent), and Abilene, Texas (-4.4 percent).

Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in 31 of the 36 metropolitan areas with annual average employment levels above 750,000 in 2010. The largest over-the-year percentage increases in employment in these large metropolitan areas were posted in Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+3.4 percent), San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. (+3.3 percent), and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. (+2.8 percent).

The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind. (-0.7 percent), Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga., and Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio (-0.6 percent each), and Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, N.C.-S.C. (-0.2 percent).

Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Nonfarm payroll employment data were available in November for 32 metropolitan divisions, which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers within a metropolitan area. Twenty-five of the 32 metropolitan divisions reported over-the-year employment gains, while 7 reported losses. The largest over-the-year employment increases in the metropolitan divisions occurred in Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (+44,600), Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+40,100), and Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass. (+37,100).

The largest over-the-year employment decreases in the metropolitan divisions were in Edison-New Brunswick, N.J. (-10,400), Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y. (-8,600), and Wilmington, Del.-Md.-N.J. (-5,300). (See table 4.)

The largest over-the-year percentage increases in employment among the metropolitan divisions were reported in Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (+3.2 percent), Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Mass. (+2.9 percent), and Framingham, Mass. (+2.7 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Gary, Ind. (-1.9 percent), Wilmington, Del.-Md.-N.J. (-1.6 percent), Edison-New Brunswick, N.J. (-1.1 percent), and Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y. (-0.7 percent).

To view the tables referenced above, see: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/metro.nr0.htm

Source: bls.gov