In July, 67 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent, down from 112 areas a year earlier, while 94 areas posted rates below 7.0 percent, up from 68 areas in July of last year. Yuma, Ariz., and El Centro, Calif., recorded the highest unemployment rates in July 2012, 31.2 and 29.9 percent, respectively. Bismarck, N.D., registered the lowest unemployment rate, 2.5 percent. A total of 216 areas recorded July unemployment rates below the U.S. figure of 8.6 percent, 151 areas reported rates above it, and 5 areas had rates equal to that of the nation.
The largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in July was registered in El Centro, Calif. (-2.7 percentage points). Nine additional areas had decreases of 2.0 percentage points or more. Elmira, N.Y., reported the largest over-the-year jobless rate increase (+1.5 percentage points). Two other areas had increases of at least 1.0 percentage point from a year earlier.
Among the 49 metropolitan areas with a Census 2000 population of 1 million or more, the highest unemployment rates in July were registered in Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., 12.9 and 12.7 percent, respectively.
Five 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., 4.8 percent. Forty-two large areas reported over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, six registered increases, and one had no change. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla., experienced the largest unemployment rate decline from July 2011 (-1.9 percentage points). Twenty-one other large areas reported rate decreases of at least 1.0 percentage point. No large area recorded an over-the-year rate increase as large as 1.0 percentage point.
Metropolitan Division Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
Eleven of the most populous metropolitan areas are made up of 34 metropolitan divisions, which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers. In July 2012, Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich., registered the highest jobless rate among the divisions, 13.4 percent. The next highest rate was recorded in Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif., 11.9 percent. Framingham, Mass., reported the lowest division rate, 5.0 percent.
Twenty-seven of the metropolitan divisions recorded over-the-year jobless rate decreases in July, while seven registered increases. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, Fla., posted the largest rate decline from a year earlier (-1.7 percentage points). Thirteen other divisions had decreases of 1.0 percentage point or more. No division reported an unemployment rate increase over the year greater than 0.8 percentage point.
In 5 of the 11 metropolitan areas that contain divisions, the ranges between the highest and lowest division jobless rates were 2.0 percentage points or more in July. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H., recorded the largest rate difference among its divisions, 5.8 percentage points (Lawrence-Methuen-Salem, Mass.-N.H., 10.8 percent,compared with Framingham, Mass., 5.0 percent).
Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In July, 276 metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 93 reported decreases, and 3 had no change. The largest over-the-year employment increase occurred in New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. (+90,400), followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif. (+86,300), and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+83,700). The largest over-the-year percentage gain in employment was reported in Lafayette, La. (+10.3 percent), followed by Columbus, Ind. (+8.3 percent), and Texarkana, Texas-Texarkana, Ark. (+7.0 percent).
The largest over-the-year decrease in employment occurred in Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis. (-6,000), followed by Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas (-4,700), and Providence-Fall River-Warwick, R.I.-Mass. (-4,100). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment was reported in Dalton, Ga. (-6.0 percent), followed by Great Falls, Mont. (-4.8 percent), Hot Springs, Ark. (-4.7 percent), and Danville, Ill. (-4.5 percent).
Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in 35 of the 37 metropolitan areas with annual average employment levels above 750,000 in 2011. The largest over-the-year percentage increases in employment in these large metropolitan areas were posted in San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif., and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. (+3.5 percent each), and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+3.2 percent). Only one of these large areas reported a percent decrease: Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis. (-0.7 percent).
Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
Nonfarm payroll employment data were available in July 2012 for 32 metropolitan divisions, which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers within a metropolitan area. Thirty of the 32 metropolitan divisions reported over-the-year employment gains, while 2 reported losses. The largest over-the-year increases in the metropolitan divisions occurred in New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. (+78,600), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (+58,900). The largest over-the-year decrease in the metropolitan divisions was in Edison-New Brunswick, N.J. (-4,300).
The largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment among the metropolitan divisions was reported in San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif. (+4.4 percent), followed by Peabody, Mass., and Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (+3.1 percent each). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment occurred in Nashua, N.H.- Mass. (-2.7 percent).