Unemployment rates were lower in July than a year earlier in 257 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 94 areas, and unchanged in 21 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Twelve areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, while ten areas registered rates of less than 5.0 percent. Two hundred thirty-two metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 133 reported decreases, and 7 had no change. The national unemployment rate in July was 9.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 9.7 percent a year earlier.
Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In July, 117 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent, down from 127 areas a year earlier, while 62 areas posted rates below 7.0 percent, up from 54 areas in July 2010. El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., recorded the highest unemployment rates in July 2011, 30.8 and 30.0 percent, respectively. All of the remaining 10 areas with jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent were located in California. Bismarck, N.D., registered the lowest unemployment rate, 3.0 percent. The areas with the next lowest rates were Fargo, N.D.-Minn., and Lincoln, Neb., 3.7 and 3.8 percent, respectively. Of the 10 areas with jobless rates of less than 5.0 percent, 8 were located in the West North Central census division. A total of 219 areas recorded July unemployment rates below the U.S. figure of 9.3 percent, 150 areas reported rates above it, and 3 areas had rates equal to that of the nation.
The largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in July was registered in Rockford, Ill. (-3.3 percentage points), followed by Steubenville-Weirton, Ohio-W.Va. (-3.0 points). An additional 14 areas recorded jobless rate decreases of at least 2.0 percentage points. Pascagoula, Miss., reported the largest over-the-year jobless rate increase (+1.9 percentage points). Eight additional areas had increases of at least a full percentage point from a year earlier.
In the 49 metropolitan areas with a Census 2000 population of 1 million or more, the highest unemployment rate in July was registered in Riverside-San Bernardino- Ontario, Calif., 14.7 percent. Sixteen additional large areas posted rates of 10.0 percent or more. The lowest jobless rate among the large areas was recorded in Oklahoma City, Okla., 5.5 percent, followed by Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va., 6.0 percent. Forty of the large areas reported over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, while seven areas registered rate increases and two had no change. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., experienced the largest unemployment rate decrease from July 2010 (-1.7 percentage points). Nine other large areas reported rate decreases of at least 1.0 percentage point. The large area with the largest over-the-year jobless rate increase was San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas (+0.6 percentage point). Full article here.