May 30, 2018

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics confirmed in its latest report that the national unemployment rate in April was 3.7 percent, down from 4.1 percent a year earlier. “Unemployment rates were lower in April than a year earlier in 305 of the 388 metropolitan areas, higher in 63 areas, and unchanged in 20 areas.” Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 312 metropolitan areas, decreased in 70 areas, and was unchanged in 6 areas.

Metropolitan Area Unemployment

April’s unemployment rate among Metropolitan Area range from as low as 1.5 percent (Ames, IA) to a high of 15.7 percent (Yuma, AZ). A total of 204 areas had April jobless rates below the U.S. rate of 3.7 percent, 167 areas had rates above it, and 17 areas had rates equal to that of the nation. El Centro, CA, had the largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in April (-3.3 percentage points). An additional 37 areas had rate declines of at least 1.0 percentage point. The largest over-the-year rate increase occurred in Beckley, WV (+0.7 percentage point).

Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment

According to the Bureau, “Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in 50 of 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more and fell in Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC(-0.2 percent).”

In April, 312 metropolitan areas had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 70 had decreases, and 6 had no change. The largest over-the-year employment increases occurred in Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (+119,900), New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (+113,500), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA (+94,100). The largest over-the-year percentage gains in employment occurred in Midland, TX (+12.2 percent), Odessa, TX (+6.1 percent), and Elkhart-Goshen, IN (+5.5 percent).

The largest over-the-year decrease in employment occurred in Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL (-3,600), followed by Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA (-2,700), and Corpus Christi, TX (-2,100). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment occurred in Bismarck, ND (-2.7 percent), followed by Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL, and Victoria, TX (-2.4 percent each).


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