Most metropolitan areas experience jobless rate decrease in 1998

February 05, 1999

In December 1998, 241 metropolitan areas reported lower unemployment rates than a year earlier. In 173 of the 328 U.S. metropolitan areas, unemployment rate declines equaled or exceeded the 0.4 percentage point decline in the national rate. Rocky Mount, North Carolina, had the largest over-the-year drop (-2.4 percentage points).

Decline in unemployment rates for select metropolitan areas from December 1997 to December 1998
[Chart data—TXT]

The next highest unemployment rate declines were experienced by New London-Norwich, Connecticut-Rhode Island (-1.9 points), and Decatur, Illinois (-1.8 points). Thirty-seven additional areas registered declines of 1.0 point or more.

At the end of 1998, the lowest unemployment rates among metropolitan areas were in Charlottesville, Virginia (1.1 percent), Columbia, Missouri (1.2 percent), and Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Rochester, Minnesota (both 1.3 percent). Six of the eight areas with rates of 1.5 percent or less were in the Midwest.

These data are a product of the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program. More information can be found in news release USDL 99-26, "Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment: December 1998." Year-to-year comparisons are based on changes in not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rates from December 1997 to December 1998.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Most metropolitan areas experience jobless rate decrease in 1998 on the Internet at (visited September 27, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.