Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Tuesday, February 6, 2018                     USDL-18-0205

Technical information:
 Employment:    (202) 691-6559  *  sminfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/sae
 Unemployment:  (202) 691-6392  *  lausinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/lau

Media contact:  (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


        METROPOLITAN AREA EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT -- DECEMBER 2017


Unemployment rates were lower in December than a year earlier in 314 of the 388 
metropolitan areas, higher in 61 areas, and unchanged in 13 areas, the U.S. Bureau 
of Labor Statistics reported today. Seventy-one areas had jobless rates of less 
than 3.0 percent and four areas had rates of at least 10.0 percent. Nonfarm payroll 
employment increased over the year in 316 metropolitan areas, decreased in 60 areas, 
and was unchanged in 12 areas. The national unemployment rate in December was 3.9 
percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 4.5 percent a year earlier.

Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In December, Ames, IA, had the lowest unemployment rate, 1.5 percent, followed by 
Urban Honolulu, HI, 1.7 percent. El Centro, CA, and Yuma, AZ, had the highest 
unemployment rates, 17.9 percent and 15.7 percent, respectively. A total of 190 
areas had December jobless rates below the U.S. rate of 3.9 percent, 183 areas had 
rates above it, and 15 areas had rates equal to that of the nation. (See table 1.)

El Centro, CA, had the largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in December 
(-3.0 percentage points). An additional 120 areas had rate declines of at least 1.0 
percentage point. The largest over-the-year rate increase occurred in Fairbanks, AK 
(+0.9 percentage point).

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, 
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN, had the lowest unemployment rate in 
December, 2.4 percent. Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY, had the highest jobless 
rate among the large areas, 5.5 percent. Forty-four large areas had over-the-year 
unemployment rate decreases, six had increases, and one had no change. The largest 
rate decrease occurred in Birmingham-Hoover, AL (-2.4 percentage points). The largest 
over-the-year rate increase was in Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY (+0.4 
percentage point).

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, San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA, had the lowest 
unemployment rate among the divisions, 2.2 percent, closely followed by San Rafael, 
CA, 2.3 percent. Tacoma-Lakewood, WA, had the highest division rate, 5.4 percent. 
(See table 2.)

In December, 22 metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, 
12 had increases, and 4 had no change. The largest rate declines occurred in Elgin, 
IL; Gary, IN; and Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI (-1.1 percentage points each). 
The largest over-the-year jobless rate increase occurred in Lawrence-Methuen 
Town-Salem, MA-NH (+0.4 percentage point).

Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In December, 316 metropolitan areas had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll 
employment, 60 had decreases, and 12 had no change. The largest over-the-year 
employment increases occurred in Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (+91,700), New 
York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (+83,600), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 
(+78,300). The largest over-the-year percentage gains in employment occurred in St. 
George, UT (+5.8 percent), Elkhart-Goshen, IN (+5.7 percent), and Athens-Clarke 
County, GA (+5.4 percent). (See table 3.)

The largest over-the-year decrease in employment occurred in Virginia Beach-Norfolk-
Newport News, VA-NC (-7,100), followed by Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY 
(-4,600), and Rochester, NY (-3,500). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease 
in employment occurred in Cape Girardeau, MO-IL (-5.4 percent), followed by Grand 
Forks, ND-MN (-3.2 percent), and Elmira, NY, and Michigan City-La Porte, IN (-2.6 
percent each).

Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in 47 of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 
2010 Census population of 1 million or more and fell in 4. The largest over-the-year 
percentage increases in employment in these large metropolitan areas occurred in 
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL (+3.8 percent), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 
(+3.4 percent), and San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX (+3.2 percent). The over-the-year 
percentage decreases occurred in Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC (-0.9 
percent), Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY (-0.8 percent), Rochester, NY 
(-0.6 percent), and New Orleans-Metairie, LA (-0.4 percent). 

Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In December, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 36 of the 38 metropolitan 
divisions over the year and fell in 2. The largest over-the-year increase in 
employment among the metropolitan divisions occurred in New York-Jersey City-White 
Plains, NY-NJ (+84,200), followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX (+61,800), and Los 
Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA (+54,700). The over-the-year decreases occurred in 
Newark, NJ-PA (-9,300), and Gary, IN (-7,100). (See table 4.)

The largest over-the-year percentage increases occurred in Haverhill-Newburyport-
Amesbury Town, MA-NH, and Tacoma-Lakewood, WA (+3.6 percent each), followed by Miami-
Miami Beach-Kendall, FL (+3.0 percent). The over-the-year percentage decreases 
occurred in Gary, IN (-2.5 percent), and Newark, NJ-PA (-0.8 percent).

_____________
The Regional and State Unemployment 2017 Annual Averages news release is scheduled 
to be released on Tuesday, February 27, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. (EST). The State Employment 
and Unemployment news release for January 2018 is scheduled to be released on Monday, 
March 12, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment 
news release for January 2018 is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 16, 2018, 
at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).


   _____________________________________________________________________________________
  |                                                                                     |
  |            Upcoming Changes to Local Area Unemployment Statistics Data              |
  |                                                                                     |
  |  Effective with the release of Regional and State Unemployment 2017 Annual Averages |
  |  on Tuesday, February 27, 2018, the civilian labor force and unemployment data for  |
  |  census regions and divisions and all states, the District of Columbia, and the     |
  |  modeled substate areas presented in tables 1 and 2 of this news release will be    |
  |  revised from 2013 to 2017 to incorporate updated inputs, new population controls,  |
  |  and reestimation of models. 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 2018       |
  |  State Employment and Unemployment news release on Friday, April 20, 2018.          |
  |_____________________________________________________________________________________|


   _____________________________________________________________________________________
  |                                                                                     |
  |               Upcoming Changes to Current Employment Statistics Data                |
  |                                                                                     |
  | Effective with the release of January 2018 estimates on March 12, 2018, all         |
  | nonfarm payroll employment estimates for states and areas presented in tables       |
  | 3 and 4 of this news release will be adjusted to 2017 benchmark levels.             |
  |                                                                                     |
  | Also effective with the release of January 2018 estimates, the Current Employment   |
  | Statistics (CES) program will convert to concurrent seasonal adjustment, which uses |
  | all available estimates, including those for the current month, in developing       |
  | seasonal factors. Currently, the CES program develops seasonal factors once a year  |
  | during the annual benchmark process. For more information on concurrent seasonal    |
  | adjustment in the CES State and Area program, see www.bls.gov/sae/saeconcurrent.htm.|
  |                                                                                     |
  | Not seasonally adjusted data beginning with April 2016 and seasonally adjusted      |
  | data beginning with January 2013 are subject to revision. Some seasonally adjusted  |
  | series may be revised back to 1990.                                                 |
  |_____________________________________________________________________________________|


   ______________________________________________________________________________________
  |                                                                                      |
  |       Conversion to the 2017 North American Industry Classification System           |
  |                                                                                      |
  | With the release of January 2018 data on March 12, 2018, the Current Employment      |
  | Statistics (CES) survey will revise the basis for industry classification from the   |
  | 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to the 2017 NAICS for     |
  | all states and metropolitan areas.                                                   |
  |                                                                                      |
  | The conversion to the 2017 NAICS will result in minor revisions reflecting content   |
  | and coding changes within the retail trade and information sectors. Several industry |
  | titles and descriptions also will be updated. Details of new, discontinued, and      |
  | combined industries due to the 2017 NAICS updates, as well as changes due to the     |
  | annual benchmarking process, will be available on March 12, 2018.                    |
  |                                                                                      |
  | For more information on the 2017 NAICS, see www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/.           |
  |______________________________________________________________________________________|



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Last Modified Date: February 06, 2018