Metropolitan area employment and unemployment, October 2011

December 08, 2011

Unemployment rates were lower in October than a year earlier in 281 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 76 areas, and unchanged in 15 areas. Eight areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, while 21 areas registered rates of less than 5.0 percent.

Unemployment rate, selected metropolitan areas, October 2010 and October 2011
[Chart data]

The largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in October was registered in Muskegon-Norton Shores, Michigan (−2.6 percentage points), followed by El Centro, California; Farmington, New Mexico; and Flint, Michigan (−2.5 points each). Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, Washington, reported the largest over-the-year jobless rate increase (+1.7 percentage points), followed by Yakima, Washington (+1.3 points); Pascagoula, Mississippi (+1.3 points); and Jacksonville, North Carolina (+1.2 points).

From October 2010 to October 2011, 233 metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 133 reported decreases, and 6 had no change.

Over-the-year nonfarm employment changes, selected metropolitan areas, October 2010-October 2011
[Chart data]

The largest over-the-year percentage gain in employment was reported in Kankakee-Bradley, Illinois (+6.5 percent), followed by Hot Springs, Arkansas (+6.2 percent), and Victoria, Texas (+5.5 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment were reported in Missoula, Montana (−5.4 percent), Abilene, Texas (−5.2 percent), and Dalton, Georgia (−4.7 percent).

These data are from the Current Employment Statistics (State and Metro Area) and Local Area Unemployment Statistics programs. The most recent month's employment data are preliminary and subject to revision. To learn more, see "Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment — October 2011" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-11-1717.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Metropolitan area employment and unemployment, October 2011 on the Internet at (visited September 28, 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.