For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Wednesday, February 1, 2017 USDL-17-0139
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METROPOLITAN AREA EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT -- DECEMBER 2016
Unemployment rates were lower in December than a year earlier in 236 of the 387
metropolitan areas, higher in 111 areas, and unchanged in 40 areas, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Twenty-seven areas had jobless rates
of less than 3.0 percent and five areas had rates of at least 10.0 percent.
Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 292 metropolitan areas,
decreased in 87 areas, and was unchanged in 8 areas. The national unemployment
rate in December was 4.5 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 4.8
percent a year earlier.
Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In December, Ames, Iowa, and Burlington-South Burlington, Vt., had the lowest
unemployment rates, 2.1 percent each. El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., had
the highest unemployment rates, 18.8 percent and 15.3 percent, respectively.
A total of 192 areas had December jobless rates below the U.S. rate of 4.5
percent, 186 areas had rates above it, and 9 areas had rates equal to that of
the nation. (See table 1.)
El Centro, Calif., had the largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in
December (-2.7 percentage points), followed by New Bedford, Mass. (-2.6 points).
Forty-three other areas had rate declines of at least 1.0 percentage point. The
largest over-the-year rate increase occurred in Erie, Pa. (+1.6 percentage points).
Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more,
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, Mass.-N.H., had the lowest unemployment rate in December,
2.5 percent, followed by Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., 2.6 percent, and Salt Lake
City, Utah, 2.7 percent. Birmingham-Hoover, Ala., and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin,
Ill.-Ind.-Wis., had the highest jobless rates among the large areas, 5.4 percent
each. Thirty-four large areas had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, 12
had increases, and 5 had no change. The largest rate decrease occurred in Boston-
Cambridge-Nashua, Mass.-N.H. (-1.5 percentage points). The largest over-the-year
rate increase was in Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio (+1.2 percentage points).
Metropolitan Division Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
Eleven of the most populous metropolitan areas are made up of 38 metropolitan
divisions, which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers. In
December, Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass., and Framingham, Mass., had the lowest
unemployment rates among the divisions, 2.3 percent each. Tacoma-Lakewood, Wash.,
had the highest division rate, 6.0 percent. (See table 2.)
In December, 31 metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate
decreases, 3 had increases, and 4 had no change. The largest rate decline
occurred in Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem, Mass.-N.H. (-2.2 percentage points).
The largest over-the-year rate increases occurred in Philadelphia, Pa. (+0.7
percentage point), and Montgomery County-Bucks County-Chester County, Pa.
Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In December, 292 metropolitan areas had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll
employment, 87 had decreases, and 8 had no change. The largest over-the-year
employment increases occurred in New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa.
(+120,600), Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+113,500), and Los Angeles-Long
Beach-Anaheim, Calif. (+90,000). The largest over-the-year percentage gain in
employment occurred in Cleveland, Tenn. (+5.7 percent), followed by Madera, Calif.,
and Prescott, Ariz. (+5.0 percent each). (See table 3.)
The largest over-the-year decreases in employment occurred in Lafayette, La.
(-6,500), Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis. (-4,700), and Anchorage, Alaska
(-4,100). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment occurred in
Casper, Wyo. (-6.6 percent), followed by Carbondale-Marion, Ill. (-4.2 percent),
and Cheyenne, Wyo. (-3.4 percent).
Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in 49 of the 51 metropolitan areas with a
2010 Census population of 1 million or more, and fell in Milwaukee-Waukesha-West
Allis, Wis. (-0.5 percent), and Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C.
(-0.4 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment in
these large metropolitan areas occurred in Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla.
(+4.2 percent), followed by Salt Lake City, Utah; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara,
Calif.; and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. (+3.4 percent each).
Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In December, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 36 of the 38 metropolitan
divisions over the year and decreased in Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem, Mass.-N.H.
(-1,200, or -1.4 percent), and Dutchess County-Putnam County, N.Y. (-100, or -0.1
percent). The largest over-the-year increase in employment among the metropolitan
divisions occurred in New York-Jersey City-White Plains, N.Y.-N.J. (+100,400),
followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+95,300), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-
Glendale, Calif. (+58,600). (See table 4.)
The largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment among the metropolitan
divisions occurred in Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+3.9 percent), followed by
Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury Town, Mass.-N.H. (+3.8 percent), and Seattle-
Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (+3.6 percent).
The Regional and State Unemployment 2016 Annual Averages news release is
scheduled to be released on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. (EST).
The State Employment and Unemployment news release for January 2017 is
scheduled to be released on Monday, March 13, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).
The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for January
2017 is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 17, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).
| Upcoming Changes to Local Area Unemployment Statistics Data |
| Effective with the release of Regional and State Unemployment 2016 Annual Averages |
| on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, the civilian labor force and unemployment data for |
| census regions and divisions and all states, the District of Columbia, and the |
| seven modeled substate areas presented in tables 1 and 2 of this news release will |
| be revised from 2012-2016 to incorporate updated inputs, new population controls, |
| and reestimation of models. The new population controls will reflect the annual |
| updating of population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau. Civilian labor force |
| and unemployment estimates for all other metropolitan areas and metropolitan |
| divisions subsequently will be revised to reflect updated inputs and adjustment to |
| the new statewide estimates. These revised estimates will be published in |
| conjunction with the March 2017 State Employment and Unemployment news release on |
| Friday, April 21, 2017. |
| Upcoming Changes to Current Employment Statistics Data |
| Effective with the release of January 2017 estimates on Monday, March 13, 2017, |
| all nonfarm payroll employment estimates for states and areas presented in |
| tables 3 and 4 of this news release will be adjusted to 2016 benchmark levels. |
| Not seasonally adjusted data beginning with April 2015 and seasonally adjusted |
| data beginning with January 2012 are subject to revision. Some seasonally |
| adjusted series may be revised back to 1990. |