METROPOLITAN AREA EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT -- AUGUST 2019
Unemployment rates were lower in August than a year earlier in 224 of the 389
metropolitan areas, higher in 132 areas, and unchanged in 33 areas, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. A total of 82 areas had jobless
rates of less than 3.0 percent and 2 areas had rates of at least 10.0 percent.
Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 52 metropolitan areas and
was essentially unchanged in the remaining 337 areas. The national unemployment
rate in August was 3.8 percent, not seasonally adjusted, little changed from
a year earlier.
This news release presents statistics from two monthly programs. The civilian
labor force and unemployment data are based on the same concepts and definitions
as those used for the national household survey estimates. These data pertain to
individuals by where they reside. The employment data are from an establishment
survey that measures nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry. These
data pertain to jobs on payrolls defined by where the establishments are located.
For more information about the concepts and statistical methodologies used by
these two programs, see the Technical Note.
Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In August, Portland-South Portland, ME, had the lowest unemployment rate,
1.7 percent. The next lowest rates were in Ames, IA, and Burlington-South
Burlington, VT, 1.9 percent each. Yuma, AZ, and El Centro, CA, had the
highest unemployment rates, 23.0 percent and 22.1 percent, respectively.
A total of 192 areas had August jobless rates below the U.S. rate of 3.8
percent, 172 areas had rates above it, and 25 areas had rates equal to that
of the nation. (See table 1.)
Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL, had the largest over-the-year unemployment
rate decrease in August (-1.6 percentage points). Nineteen other areas had rate
declines of at least 1.0 percentage point. The largest over-the-year rate
increase occurred in Yuma, AZ (+1.6 percentage points).
Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or
more, Birmingham-Hoover, AL; Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH; and
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO, had the lowest unemployment rates in August,
2.6 percent each. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ, had the highest jobless rate
among the large areas, 4.7 percent. Thirty-seven large areas had over-the-year
unemployment rate decreases, nine had increases, and five had no change. The
largest rate decreases occurred in Birmingham-Hoover, AL (-1.1 percentage points),
and Cleveland-Elyria, OH (-1.0 point). The largest jobless rate increases were in
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI; Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI;
and Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA (+0.4 percentage point each).
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 August, San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA, had the lowest
unemployment rate among the divisions, 2.2 percent. Tacoma-Lakewood, WA, had the
highest division rate, 5.7 percent. (See table 2.)
In August, 31 metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate
decreases, 4 had increases, and 3 had no change. The largest rate decline occurred
in Elgin, IL (-1.0 percentage point). The largest over-the-year jobless rate
increase occurred in Tacoma-Lakewood, WA (+0.7 percentage point).
Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In August, 52 metropolitan areas had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll
employment and 337 were essentially unchanged. The largest over-the-year
employment increases occurred in New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (+134,200),
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (+115,800), and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land,
TX (+81,900). The largest over-the-year percentage gains in employment occurred
in Ocean City, NJ (+7.0 percent), Reno, NV (+5.5 percent), and Ogden-Clearfield,
UT (+4.6 percent). (See table 3.)
Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in 32 of the 51 metropolitan areas with a
2010 Census population of 1 million or more, while employment was essentially
unchanged in 19 areas. The largest over-the-year percentage increases in
employment in these large metropolitan areas occurred in Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford,
FL (+4.0 percent), Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX, and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue,
WA (+3.1 percent each), and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX, and Phoenix-Mesa-
Scottsdale, AZ (+2.7 percent each).
Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In August, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 14 of the 38 metropolitan
divisions over the year and was essentially unchanged in 24 divisions. The
largest over-the-year increase in employment among the metropolitan divisions
occurred in New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ (+109,800), followed by
Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX (+100,300), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA
(+59,100). (See table 4.)
The largest over-the-year percentage increases in employment occurred in
Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX (+3.8 percent), Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA
(+3.2 percent), and San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA
- Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment Technical Note
- Table 1. Civilian labor force and unemployment by state and metropolitan area
- Table 2. Civilian labor force and unemployment by state, selected metropolitan area, and metropolitan division (1)
- Table 3. Employees on nonfarm payrolls by state and metropolitan area
- Table 4. Employees on nonfarm payrolls by state, selected metropolitan area, and metropolitan division
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