Employment

U.S. February Jobless Rates Down over the Year in 296 of 387 Metro Areas

Jobless rates were lower in February than a year earlier in 296 of the 387 metropolitan areas, higher in 76, and unchanged in 15. Nonfarm payroll employment was up in 323 metropolitan areas over the year, down in 62, and unchanged in 2.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

METROPOLITAN AREA EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT -- FEBRUARY 2016


Unemployment rates were lower in February than a year earlier in 296 of the 387
metropolitan areas, higher in 76 areas, and unchanged in 15 areas, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Eleven areas had jobless rates of
less than 3.0 percent and 11 areas had rates of at least 10.0 percent. Nonfarm
payroll employment increased over the year in 323 metropolitan areas, decreased
in 62 areas, and was unchanged in 2 areas. The national unemployment rate in
February was 5.2 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 5.8 percent a year
earlier.

Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Burlington-South Burlington, Vt., had the lowest unemployment rate in February,
2.6 percent. El Centro, Calif., had the highest unemployment rate, 18.6 percent.
A total of 190 areas had February jobless rates below the U.S. rate of 5.2
percent, 187 areas had rates above it, and 10 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
February (-5.0 percentage points), followed by Atlantic City-Hammonton, N.J.
(-4.7 points). Four other areas had rate declines of at least 2.0 percentage
points. The largest over-the-year rate increase occurred in Casper, Wyo. (+3.0
percentage points), followed by Odessa, Texas (+1.9 points). 

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more,
Austin-Round Rock, Texas, and Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., had the lowest
unemployment rates in February, 3.1 percent each. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin,
Ill.-Ind.-Wis., had the highest rate among the large areas, 6.8 percent.
Forty-three large areas had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, six had
increases, and two had no change. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif., and
Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark., had the largest rate decreases (-1.7 percentage points
each). The largest over-the-year rate increase occurred in Birmingham-Hoover,
Ala. (+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
February, San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, Calif., and San Rafael,
Calif., had the lowest unemployment rates among the divisions, 3.2 percent each.
Gary, Ind., had the highest division rate, 7.5 percent. (See table 2.)

In February, 33 of the metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment
rate decreases, 4 had increases, and 1 had no change. The largest decline
occurred in Camden, N.J. (-2.2 percentage points). The largest over-the-year
rate increase occurred in Elgin, Ill. (+0.7 percentage point).

Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In February, 323 metropolitan areas had over-the-year increases in nonfarm
payroll employment, 62 had decreases, and 2 had no change. The largest 
over-the-year employment increases occurred in New York-Newark-Jersey City,
N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. (+181,700), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif. (+149,600),
and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+116,800). The largest over-the-year
percentage gain in employment occurred in Cleveland, Tenn. (+9.3 percent),
followed by Ocean City, N.J. (+8.8 percent), and St. George, Utah (+7.1 percent).
(See table 3.)

The largest over-the-year decreases in employment occurred in Lafayette, La.
(-9,100), Houma-Thibodaux, La. (-6,700), and Odessa, Texas (-5,200). The
largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Casper,
Wyo. (-8.1 percent), Houma-Thibodaux, La. (-6.7 percent), and Odessa, Texas
(-6.6 percent).

Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in 49 of the 51 metropolitan areas
with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more and decreased in Rochester,
N.Y. (-0.9 percent), and New Orleans-Metairie, La. (-0.2 percent). The largest
over-the-year percentage increase in employment in these large metropolitan
areas occurred in Richmond, Va. (+4.3 percent), followed by Austin-Round Rock,
Texas, and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. (+4.2 percent each).  

Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In February, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 37 of the 38 metropolitan
divisions over the year and decreased in Lynn-Saugus-Marblehead, Mass. (-200).
The largest over-the-year increase in employment among the metropolitan
divisions occurred in New York-Jersey City-White Plains, N.Y.-N.J. (+153,900),
followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (+107,300), and Dallas-Plano-
Irving, Texas (+105,700). (See table 4.)

The largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment among the
metropolitan divisions occurred in Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Mass. (+5.1 percent),
followed by Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury Town, Mass.-N.H. (+5.0 percent), and
Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+4.5 percent). The over-the-year percentage decrease
in employment occurred in Lynn-Saugus-Marblehead, Mass. (-0.5 percent).

_____________
The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news release for March
is scheduled to be released on Friday, April 15, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).
The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for March is
scheduled to be released on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

    _________________________________________________________________________
   |									     |
   |	     Changes to Local Area Unemployment Statistics Data		     |
   |									     |
   |  In February 2016, civilian labor force and unemployment data for all   |
   |  states, the District of Columbia, and the seven modeled substate       |
   |  areas presented in tables 1 and 2 of this news release were            |
   |  revised from 2011 through 2015 to incorporate updated inputs, new	     |
   |  population controls, reestimation of models, and adjustment to new     |
   |  census division and national control totals. Revisions for all         |
   |  model-based area estimates were loaded into the BLS time series        |
   |  database at that time.						     |
   |									     |
   |  Civilian labor force and unemployment data for the non-modeled	     |
   |  metropolitan areas and divisions presented in tables 1 and 2 of this   |
   |  news release have been revised for 2015 to incorporate updated inputs  |
   |  and adjustment to new state control totals. Revised estimates for	     |
   |  these areas and divisions have not been loaded into the BLS time 	     |
   |  series database; therefore, they do not match the data for 2015 in     |
   |  this news release. Revisions for all non-modeled metropolitan areas    |
   |  and divisions from 2011 through 2015 will be loaded into the database  |
   |  on April 15, 2016. For more information, see 			     |
   |  www.bls.gov/lau/launews1.htm.					     |
   |_________________________________________________________________________|





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