In August, 100 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent, down from 119 areas a year earlier, while 74 areas posted rates below 7.0 percent, up from 55 areas in August 2010. El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., recorded the highest unemployment rates in August 2011, 32.4 and 29.4 percent, respectively. All of the remaining seven 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 Lincoln, Neb., and Fargo, N.D.-Minn., 3.6 and 3.9 percent, respectively. A total of 217 areas recorded August unemployment rates below the U.S. figure of 9.1 percent, 149 areas reported rates above it, and 6 areas had rates equal to that of the nation.
The largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in August was registered in Farmington, N.M. (-3.0 percentage points), followed by Steubenville-Weirton, Ohio-W.Va., and Sebastian-Vero Beach, Fla. (-2.4 and -2.3 points, respectively). An additional 81 areas recorded rate decreases of at least a full percentage point. Pascagoula, Miss.,reported the largest over-the-year jobless rate increase (+1.7 percentage points). Three 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 August were registered in Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.,and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., 14.2 and 14.1 percent, respectively. Fourteen additional large areas had rates of 10.0 percent or more. The lowest jobless rate among the large areas was recorded in Oklahoma City, Okla., 5.0 percent. Thirty-eight of the large areas reported over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, while four areas registered rate increases and seven had no change. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro,Ore.-Wash., experienced the largest unemployment rate decrease from August 2010 (-1.5 percentage points). Twelve 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. (+0.5 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 August 2011, Detroit- Livonia-Dearborn, Mich., registered the highest jobless rate among the divisions, 14.4 percent. Framingham, Mass., reported the lowest division rate, 5.3 percent.
Twenty-nine of the metropolitan divisions recorded over-the-year jobless rate decreases in August, three registered increases, and two had no change. Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Mass., posted the largest rate decline from a year earlier (-1.5 percentage points). Ten additional divisions reported rate decreases of 1.0 percentage point or more. Chicago- Joliet-Naperville, Ill., experienced the largest unemployment rate increase from a year earlier (+0.7 percentage point).
In 6 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 August. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H., recorded the largest rate difference among its divisions, 5.8 percentage points (Lawrence-Methuen-Salem, Mass.-N.H., 11.1 percent, compared with Framingham, Mass., 5.3 percent).
Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In August, 238 metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 127 reported decreases, and 7 had no change. The largest over-the-year employment increase occurred in Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+65,600), followed by New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. (+57,400), Boston-Cambridge- Quincy, Mass.-N.H. (+50,600), and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+50,200). The largest over-the-year percentage gain in employment was reported in Hot Springs, Ark. (+9.7 percent), followed by Pittsfield, Mass., and Sandusky, Ohio (+8.2 percent each),and Rochester-Dover, N.H.-Maine (+6.1 percent).
The largest over-the-year decreases in employment occurred in Atlanta-Sandy Springs- Marietta, Ga. (-30,800), Kansas City, Mo.-Kan. (-12,600), Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. (-11,200), and Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind. (-10,300). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment were reported in Abilene, Texas (-4.7 percent), Battle Creek, Mich. (-3.9 percent), Missoula, Mont. (-3.8 percent), and Atlantic City- Hammonton, N.J. (-3.6 percent).
Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in 29 of the 36 metropolitan areas with annual average employment levels above 750,000 in 2010. The largest over-the-year percentage increases in employment in these large metropolitan areas were in San Jose-Sunnyvale- Santa Clara, Calif. (+3.4 percent), Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+2.6 percent), and Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis. (+2.5 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.(-1.4 percent), Kansas City, Mo.-Kan. (-1.3 percent), and Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind. (-1.2 percent).
Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
Nonfarm payroll employment data were available in August 2011 for 32 metropolitan divisions, which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers within a metropolitan area. Twenty-five of the 32 metropolitan divisions reported over-the-year employment gains, while 7 reported losses. The largest over-the-year increase in the metropolitan divisions occurred in New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. (+84,200), followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+35,100), Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.(+34,300), and Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (+32,400). The largest over-the-year decreases in the metropolitan divisions were in Edison-New Brunswick, N.J. (-15,900),Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y. (-13,000), and Philadelphia, Pa. (-7,700).
The largest over-the-year percentage increases in employment among the metropolitan divisions were reported in Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Mass. (+2.7 percent), Seattle- Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (+2.4 percent), and Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass. (+2.1 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment were in Gary, Ind. (-2.0 percent), Wilmington, Del.-Md.-N.J. (-1.7 percent), and Edison-New Brunswick, N.J. (-1.6 percent).