U.S. jobless rates down for May

June 27, 2018

Unemployment rates trended downwards for the month of May in 350 of the 388 metropolitan states compared to a year earlier. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this was, “higher in 20 areas and unchaged in 18 areas”. Jobless rates lower than 3% were recorded in 96 areas, while 2 areas posted rates in close proximity to 10%. Nonfarm payroll employment rose in 332 metropolitan areas and slid in 52 areas. Additionally, 4 areas reported unchanged rates. The national unemployment rate as at May 2018 was 3.6%, not seasonally adjusted down from 4.1% a year earlier.


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. San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA, and San Rafael, CA, in May, had the lowest unemployment rates among the divisions, 2% each. Tacoma-Lakewood, WA, had the highest division rate, 5.2%.

In May, 33 metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, 3 had increases, and 2 had no change. The largest rate declines occurred in Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL, and Philadelphia, PA (-1.2% points each). None of the over-the-year jobless rate increases exceeded 0.4% point.


Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Nonfarm payroll employment increased in May for 37 of the 38 metropolitan divisions over the year and fell in Gary, IN (-200). The largest over-the-year increase in employment among the metropolitan divisions occurred in New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ (+97,900), followed by Dallas-PlanoIrving, TX (+90,700), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA (+63,900).

The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in Tacoma-Lakewood, WA (+3.8 percent), followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX, and Lynn-Saugus-Marblehead, MA (+3.5 percent each). The overthe-year percentage decrease occurred in Gary, IN (-0.1%).