Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment Report for April 2011

Washington, D.C.—(ENEWSPF)—June 1, 2011. Unemployment rates were lower in April than a year earlier in 297 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 54 areas, and unchanged in 21 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Twelve areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, while 16 areas registered rates of less than 5.0 percent. Two hundred thirty-seven metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 126 reported decreases, and 9 had no change. The national unemployment rate in April was 8.7 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 9.5 percent a year earlier.

Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In April, 74 metropolitan areas had jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent, down from 127 areas a year earlier, while 92 areas had rates below 7.0 percent, up from 59 areas in April 2010. El Centro, Calif., recorded the highest unemployment rate in April 2011, 27.9 percent, followed by Yuma, Ariz., 25.3 percent, and Yuba City, Calif., 20.2 percent. All of the remaining nine areas with jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent were located in California. Bismarck, N.D., registered the lowest unemployment rate, 2.9 percent. The areas with the next lowest rates were Fargo, N.D., Minn., and Lincoln, Neb., 3.7 and 3.8 percent, respectively. Of the 16 areas with jobless rates of less than 5.0 percent, half were located in the West North Central census division. A total of 224 areas had April unemployment rates below the U.S. figure of 8.7 percent, 146 areas had rates above it, and 2 areas had rates equal to that of the nation. (See table 1.)

Elkhart-Goshen, Ind., registered the largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in April (-4.0 percentage points). An additional 11 areas recorded jobless rate decreases of 3.0 percentage points or more from a year earlier, and 36 other areas had decreases between 2.0 and 2.9 points. Baton Rouge, La., and Pascagoula, Miss., had the largest over-the-year jobless rate increases (+1.2 percentage points each), followed by Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas (+1.0 point).

In the 49 metropolitan areas with a Census 2000 population of 1 million or more, the highest unemployment rates in April were registered in Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., 13.4 percent, Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., 12.1 percent, and Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville, Calif., 12.0 percent. Eight 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., 4.5 percent, followed by Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va., 5.4 percent. Forty-three of the large areas reported over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, while three areas registered rate increases and three had no rate change. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., and Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich., experienced the largest unemployment rate decreases from April 2010 among the large areas (-3.0 and -2.9 percentage points, respectively). Two other large areas reported rate decreases of at least 2.0 percentage points. The three large areas with over-the-year jobless rate increases were New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, La. (+0.7 percentage point), Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla. (+0.3 point), and Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark. (+0.2 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 April 2011, Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla., registered the highest jobless rate among the divisions, 13.2 percent, while Nashua, N.H.-Mass., reported the lowest division rate, 4.8 percent. (See table 2.)

All but one of the metropolitan divisions recorded over-the-year jobless rate decreases in April. The two divisions that make up the Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich., metropolitan area posted the largest rate declines from a year earlier: Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn and Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills (-2.8 percentage points each). Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla., experienced the only over-the-year unemployment rate increase among divisions (+1.4 percentage points).

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 April. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H., recorded the largest rate difference among its divisions, 6.3 percentage points (Lawrence-Methuen-Salem, Mass.-N.H., 11.1 percent, compared with Nashua, N.H.-Mass., 4.8 percent).

Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In April, 237 metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 126 reported decreases, and 9 had no change. The largest over-the-year employment increase was recorded in Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+83,100), followed by Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+51,100), Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. (+37,100), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif. (+36,200). The largest over-the-year percentage gain in employment was reported in Sandusky, Ohio (+13.8 percent), followed by Elizabethtown, Ky. (+6.3 percent), Flagstaff, Ariz. (+5.2 percent), and Anderson, S.C. (+5.1 percent). (See table 3.)

The largest over-the-year decreases in employment occurred in Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. (-16,400), Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville, Calif. (-14,600), Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. (-9,000), and Albuquerque, N.M. (-6,300). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment were reported in Missoula, Mont. (-4.2 percent); Palm Coast, Fla., Pine Bluff, Ark., and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton, N.J. (-3.2 percent each); and Glens Falls, N.Y. (-3.0 percent).

Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in 27 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 posted in Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas, and Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis. (+2.9 percent each), Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+2.0 percent), Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas (+1.8 percent), and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla., and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. (+1.5 percent each). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville, Calif. (-1.8 percent); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. (-1.5 percent); and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga., Baltimore-Towson, Md., and Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind. (-0.4 percent each).

Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Nonfarm payroll employment data were available in April 2011 for 32 metropolitan divisions, which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers within a metropolitan area. Twenty-two of the 32 metropolitan divisions reported over-the-year employment gains, while 10 reported loses. The largest over-the-year increases in the metropolitan divisions occurred in Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+62,900), Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill. (+37,400), New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. (+27,100), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (+23,500). The largest over-the-year decreases in the metropolitan divisions were in Camden, N.J. (-7,300), Newark-Union, N.J.-Pa. (-6,000), Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, Calif. (-5,300), and Edison-New Brunswick, N.J. (-2,100). (See table 4.)

The largest over-the-year percentage increases in employment among the metropolitan divisions were reported in Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+3.1 percent), Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Mass., and Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury, Mass.-N.H. (+2.5 percent each), Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+2.4 percent), and Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (+1.7 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment were in Peabody, Mass. (-1.5 percent), Camden, N.J. (-1.4 percent), Framingham, Mass. (-0.9 percent), and Newark-Union, N.J.-Pa., and Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, Calif. (-0.6 percent each).

To view the tables referenced above, see: