METROPOLITAN AREA EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT -- MARCH 2016 Unemployment rates were lower in March than a year earlier in 270 of the 387 metropolitan areas, higher in 98 areas, and unchanged in 19 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Ten 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 332 metropolitan areas, decreased in 51 areas, and was unchanged in 4 areas. The national unemployment rate in March was 5.1 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 5.6 percent a year earlier. Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted) Ames, Iowa, and Sioux Falls, S.D., had the lowest unemployment rates in March, 2.4 percent each. El Centro, Calif., had the highest unemployment rate, 18.6 percent. A total of 195 areas had March jobless rates below the U.S. rate of 5.1 percent, 181 areas had rates above it, and 11 areas had rates equal to that of the nation. (See table 1.) El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., had the largest over-the-year unemployment rate decreases in March (-4.1 percentage points each). Three other areas had rate declines of at least 2.0 percentage points. The largest over-the-year rate increase occurred in Casper, Wyo. (+2.6 percentage points), followed by Odessa, Texas (+2.2 points). Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, Austin-Round Rock, Texas, had the lowest unemployment rate in March, 3.1 percent. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., had the highest rate among the large areas, 6.6 percent. Thirty-six large areas had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, 11 had increases, and 4 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 increases occurred in Chicago- Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas (+0.6 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 March, 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 March, 33 metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases and 5 had increases. The largest decline occurred in Los Angeles-Long Beach- Glendale, Calif. (-2.1 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 March, 332 metropolitan areas had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 51 had decreases, and 4 had no change. The largest over-the-year employment increases occurred in New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. (+193,200), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif. (+145,300), and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+129,900). The largest over-the-year percentage gain in employment occurred in Ocean City, N.J. (+9.5 percent), followed by Madera, Calif. (+7.5 percent), and St. George, Utah (+6.2 percent). (See table 3.) The largest over-the-year decreases in employment occurred in Lafayette, La. (-9,300), Houma-Thibodaux, La. (-6,500), and Odessa, Texas (-4,100). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Casper, Wyo. (-7.2 percent), Houma-Thibodaux, La. (-6.6 percent), and Odessa, Texas (-5.3 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 fell in Rochester, N.Y. (-0.5 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment in these large metropolitan areas occurred in Richmond, Va. (+4.5 percent), followed by Orlando- Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. (+4.3 percent), and Austin-Round Rock, Texas (+4.1 percent). Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted) In March, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 37 of the 38 metropolitan divisions over the year and was unchanged in Lynn-Saugus-Marblehead, Mass. The largest over-the-year increase in employment among the metropolitan divisions occurred in New York-Jersey City-White Plains, N.Y.-N.J. (+154,800), followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+112,600), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (+97,700). (See table 4.) The largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment among the metropolitan divisions occurred in Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury Town, Mass.-N.H. (+5.3 percent), followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+4.8 percent), and Brockton-Bridgewater- Easton, Mass. (+4.3 percent). _____________ The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news release for April is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 20, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for April is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).
- 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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