Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Unemployment rates were lower in September than a year earlier in 249 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 102 areas, and unchanged in 21 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Seven areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, while 17 areas registered rates of less than 5.0 percent.

Two hundred twenty-nine metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 140 reported decreases, and 3 had no change. The national unemployment rate in September was 8.8 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 9.2 percent a year earlier.

All American Investor

Subscribe to All American Investor
Enter Your Email Address

In September, 84 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent, down from 106 areas a year earlier, while 95 areas posted rates below 7.0 percent, up from 72 areas in September 2010. El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., recorded the highest unemployment rates in September 2011, 29.6 and 27.0 percent, respectively. The remaining five areas with jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent were located in California. Bismarck, N.D., registered the lowest unemployment rate, 2.5 percent.

The areas with the next lowest rates were Fargo, N.D.-Minn., and Lincoln, Neb., 3.3 and 3.5 percent, respectively. A total of 222 areas recorded September unemployment rates below the U.S. figure of 8.8 percent, 145 areas reported rates above it, and 5 areas had rates equal to that of the nation. (See table 1.)

The largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in September was registered in Farmington, N.M. (-2.6 percentage points), followed by Muskegon-Norton Shores, Mich., and Steubenville-Weirton, Ohio-W.Va. (-2.3 points each). An additional 70 areas recorded rate decreases of at least a full percentage point. Pascagoula, Miss., reported the largest over-the-year jobless rate increase (+2.0 percentage points). Thirteen other areas had increases of 1.0 percentage point or more from a year earlier.

In the 49 metropolitan areas with a Census 2000 population of 1 million or more, the highest unemployment rates in September were registered in Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., 13.6 and 13.4 percent, respectively.

Eleven 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.

Thirty-six of the large areas reported over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, while 10 areas registered rate increases and 3 had no change. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., experienced the largest unemployment rate decrease from September 2010 (-2.0 percentage points). Eleven 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 Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark. (+0.8 percentage point).

Read the detailed report

Original content Bob DeMarco, All American Investor