Economic Analysis - Regional or Local

Metro Area Unemployment Numbers Show Improvement


Metro Area Unemployment Numbers Show Improvement ( Depositphotos © iqoncept )

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its metropolitan area unemployment figures for February 2016. Over 76% of the distinct metro areas (296 of 387) have improved over the year of February 2015 to February 2016. The lowest ranked metro area was Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont, with a rate of 2.6%. The highest was El Centro, California, with a rate of 18.6%

New Jersey deserves to have the spotlight for a moment, as the two metro areas with the greatest percentage gain over the past year are Ocean City and Atlantic City, New Jersey. Maintaining high unemployment years after the U.S. unemployment rate has recovered from the recession, these coastal metro areas appear to finally be catching up with the rest of the country.

A look at the top ten metropolitan areas in the U.S., which can be viewed in the table below, reveals that 8 of 10 have shown improvement in their rate. Only the Chicago and Houston metro areas have seen their unemployment rates grow worse from February of last year to the same time this year.

Metropolitan AreaUnemployment Rate % 
February 2015February 2016
New York-Newark-Jersey City6.35.1
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim6.85.1
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin6.56.8
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington4.23.7
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land4.44.7
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria4.94.1
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington5.94.8
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach5.54.8
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell65.3
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua4.94
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