Unemployment rates were lower in February than a year earlier in 296 (76 percent) of the 387 metropolitan areas, higher in 76 areas (20 percent), and unchanged in 15 areas (4 percent). Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont. had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.6 percent and El Centro, California had the highest rate at 18.6 percent.
For the year ended in February 2016, Ocean City, New Jersey posted the greatest unemployment rate decrease (−5.0 percentage points), followed by Atlantic City-Hammonton, New Jersey (−4.7 percentage points), and Yuma, Arizona (−3.9 percentage points). Over the year, the greatest increases in unemployment rates among metro areas were in Casper, Wyoming (+3.0 percentage points), Odessa, Texas (+1.9 percentage points), and Peoria, Illinois (+1.4 percentage points).
Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, Austin-Round Rock, Texas, and Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado, had the lowest unemployment rates in February, 3.1 percent each. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin, had the highest rate among the large areas, 6.8 percent.
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 — February 2016” (HTML) (PDF).
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unemployment rates down in 76 percent of metro areas over the year ended February 2016 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/unemployment-rates-down-in-76-percent-of-metro-areas-over-the-year-ended-february-2016.htm (visited January 29, 2023).