Metropolitan area employment and unemployment, May 2012

June 28, 2012

In May, five U.S. metropolitan areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, with Yuma, AZ (28.9 percent), and El Centro, CA (26.8 percent), recording the highest rates. Bismarck, ND (2.5 percent), and Fargo, ND-MN (3.0 percent), recorded the lowest unemployment rates among the metropolitan areas.

Metropolitan areas with highest and lowest unemployment rates, seasonally adjusted, May 2012
[Chart data]

Forty-five metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent in May, down from 84 areas a year earlier; 140 areas posted rates below 7.0 percent in May 2012, up from 96 areas in May 2011. A total of 215 areas recorded May unemployment rates below the U.S. figure of 7.9 percent (not seasonally adjusted), 153 areas reported rates above it, and 4 areas had rates equal to that of the nation.

In May, 266 metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 101 reported decreases, and 5 had no change. The largest over-the-year employment increase occurred in New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA (+107,800), followed by Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX (+88,000), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA (+63,800), and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (+52,600).

These metropolitan area data are not seasonally adjusted and are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics and Current Employment Statistics (State and Area) programs. May 2012 data from both programs are preliminary and subject to revision. Find out more in "Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment — May 2012" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-12-1289.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Metropolitan area employment and unemployment, May 2012 on the Internet at (visited October 01, 2016).


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