For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, April 5, 2017 USDL-17-0391
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METROPOLITAN AREA EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT -- FEBRUARY 2017
Unemployment rates were lower in February than a year earlier in 274 of the 388
metropolitan areas, higher in 88 areas, and unchanged in 26 areas, the U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics reported today. Ten areas had jobless rates of less than 3.0
percent, and 11 areas had rates of at least 10.0 percent. Nonfarm payroll employment
increased over the year in 323 metropolitan areas, decreased in 64 areas, and was
unchanged in 1 area. The national unemployment rate in February was 4.9 percent,
not seasonally adjusted, down from 5.2 percent a year earlier.
Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In February, Ames, Iowa, had the lowest unemployment rate, 2.1 percent. El Centro,
Calif., had the highest unemployment rate, 18.4 percent. A total of 190 areas had
February jobless rates above the U.S. rate of 4.9 percent, 186 areas had rates
below it, and 12 areas had rates equal to that of the nation. (See table 1.)
Beckley, W.Va., had the largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in
February (-2.5 percentage points), closely followed by El Centro, Calif. (-2.4
points). Thirty-five other areas had rate declines of at least 1.0 percentage
point. The largest over-the-year rate increase occurred in Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio
(+1.7 percentage points).
Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more,
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., and Salt Lake City, Utah, had the lowest unemployment
rates in February, 3.2 percent each. Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio, had the highest jobless
rate among the large areas, 7.5 percent. Thirty-three large areas had over-the-year
unemployment rate decreases, 12 had increases, and 6 had no change. The largest rate
decrease occurred in Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. (-1.2 percentage points).
The largest over-the-year rate increase of these 51 metropolitan areas was in
Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio (+1.7 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 February, San
Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, Calif., had the lowest unemployment rate
among the divisions, 2.9 percent. Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, Mich., had the highest
division rate, 7.0 percent. (See table 2.)
In February, 27 metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases,
8 had increases, and 3 had no change. The largest rate decline occurred in Chicago-
Naperville-Arlington Heights, Ill. (-1.4 percentage points). The largest over-the-year
rate increase occurred in Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, Mich. (+1.0 percentage point).
Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In February, 323 metropolitan areas had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll
employment, 64 had decreases, and 1 had no change. The largest over-the-year employment
increases occurred in New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. (+145,800), Dallas-
Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+119,300), and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. (+95,400).
The largest over-the-year percentage gain in employment occurred in Sebring, Fla. (+6.6
percent), followed by Lake Charles, La. (+5.0 percent), and Provo-Orem, Utah (+4.7 percent).
(See table 3.)
The largest over-the-year decreases in employment occurred in Milwaukee-Waukesha-West
Allis, Wis. (-6,200), Lafayette, La. (-5,900), and Houma-Thibodaux, La. (-5,300). The
largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment occurred in Casper, Wyo. (-8.4
percent), followed by Houma-Thibodaux, La. (-5.8 percent), and Farmington, N.M. (-3.2
Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in 48 of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010
Census population of 1 million or more and fell in 3 areas. The largest over-the-year
percentage increase in employment in these large metropolitan areas occurred in Orlando-
Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. (+4.3 percent), followed by Jacksonville, Fla., and Nashville-
Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, Tenn. (+3.9 percent each). The over-the-year percentage
decreases in employment occurred in Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis. (-0.7 percent),
and Oklahoma City, Okla., and Rochester, N.Y. (-0.3 percent each).
Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In February, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 34 of the 38 metropolitan divisions
over the year and fell in 4. The largest over-the-year increase in employment among the
metropolitan divisions occurred in New York-Jersey City-White Plains, N.Y.-N.J. (+110,600),
followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+91,500), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale,
Calif. (+70,800). The largest over-the-year decrease in employment occurred in Lake County-
Kenosha County, Ill.-Wis. (-3,400), followed by Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem, Mass.-N.H.
(-900), Dutchess County-Putnam County, N.Y. (-200), and Lynn-Saugus-Marblehead, Mass. (-100).
(See table 4.)
The largest over-the-year percentage increases in employment among the metropolitan
divisions occurred in Camden, N.J., and Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+3.7 percent each),
followed by Philadelphia, Pa., and Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (+3.0 percent each).
The largest over-the-year percentage decrease occurred in Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem,
Mass.-N.H. (-1.1 percent), followed by Lake County-Kenosha County, Ill.-Wis. (-0.9
percent), Lynn-Saugus-Marblehead, Mass. (-0.2 percent), and Dutchess County-Putnam
County, N.Y. (-0.1 percent).
The State Employment and Unemployment news release for March is scheduled to be
released on Friday, April 21, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). The Metropolitan Area
Employment and Unemployment news release for March is scheduled to be released
on Wednesday, May 3, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).
| Changes to Local Area Unemployment Statistics Data |
| Effective with the release of Regional and State Unemployment 2016 Annual |
| Averages on February 28, 2017, civilian labor force and unemployment data |
| for all states, the District of Columbia, and the seven modeled substate |
| areas presented in tables 1 and 2 of this news release were revised from |
| 2012 through 2016 to incorporate updated inputs, new population controls, |
| re-estimation of models, and adjustments to new census division and |
| national control totals. Revisions for all model-based area estimates |
| were loaded into the BLS time series database at that time. |
| Civilian labor force and unemployment data for the non-modeled metropolitan |
| areas and divisions presented in tables 1 and 2 of this news release have |
| been revised for 2016 to incorporate updated inputs and adjustment to new |
| state control totals. Revised estimates for these areas and divisions have |
| not been loaded into the BLS time series database; therefore, the database |
| does not match the data for 2016 in this news release. Revisions for all |
| non-modeled metropolitan areas and divisions from 2012 through 2016 will |
| be loaded into the database on April 21, 2017. For more information, see |
| www.bls.gov/lau/launews1.htm. |