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Unemployment rates were lower in January 2016 than they were a year earlier in 333 of the 387 U.S. metropolitan areas, higher in 43 areas, and unchanged in 11 areas. Six metro areas had jobless rates of less than 3.0 percent, and 12 had rates of at least 10.0 percent. The national unemployment rate in January 2016 was 5.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 6.1 percent in January 2015.
Ames, Iowa, and Boulder, Colorado, had the lowest unemployment rates in January 2016, at 2.5 percent each. El Centro, California, had the highest unemployment rate, 19.2 percent. A total of 187 areas had January jobless rates below the U.S. rate of 5.3 percent, 184 areas had rates above it, and 16 areas had rates equal to that of the nation.
Ocean City, New Jersey, had the largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in January 2016 (–5.2 percentage points), followed by Atlantic City-Hammonton, New Jersey (–4.8 points). Ten other areas had rate declines of at least 2.0 percentage points. The largest over-the-year rate increase occurred in Casper, Wyoming (+2.9 percentage points), followed by Odessa, Texas (+2.0 points).
These data are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program and are not seasonally adjusted. Data for the most recent month are preliminary and subject to revision. To learn more, see “Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment — January 2016” (HTML) (PDF).
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Ames, Iowa, and Boulder, Colorado, had the lowest unemployment rates in January 2016 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/ames-iowa-and-boulder-colorado-had-the-lowest-unemployment-rates-in-january-2016.htm (visited June 02, 2023).