Employment

October Employment Update: The Stand-Outs… and All the Rest


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its Metro Area Employment and Unemployment data for October 2012. The national unemployment rate for October was 7.5% (not seasonally adjusted).  Unemployment rates in October were lower in 329 of the nation’s 372 metro areas than a year earlier; as always, a few areas stand out among the crowd.

Yuma, Arizona had the highest unemployment rate in the nation (29.8%), followed by El Centro, California (28.1%).

For a snapshot view of metro area employment, unemployment and labor force trends, along with comparisons across time and to state and national benchmarks, visit the Employment & Unemployment Trends for U.S. Metro Areas index page.

Bismarck, North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation (2.2%), followed by Fargo, North Dakota (2.8%).

The rest:  After Yuma and El Centro, Yuba City, California had the next highest unemployment rate, at 15.3%. In addition to these three metro areas, 32 other metro areas reported unemployment rates of 10.0% or higher.

At the other end of the scale, 41 metro areas (including Bismarck and Fargo) had unemployment rates less than 5.0%.

On a percentage basis, unemployment rates fell the most in Pascagoula, Mississippi (-3.1%) over the past year, followed by Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana (-2.9%).  Unemployment rates showed the largest annual percentage increase in Elmira, New York (+1.1%) and Yuma, Arizona (+1.0%).

The rest:  In addition to Pascagoula and Elkhart-Goshen, 27 other metro areas also reported declines of 2.0% or more over the past year.

The largest employment gain, on a numeric basis, was posted in the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, New York-New Jersey metro area (+128,000), followed by Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+95,800). On a percentage basis, the largest annual employment gain was reported in Lafayette, Louisiana (+8.5%).

Over the year, employment fell the most by the numbers in the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wisconsin metro area (-5,800), followed by Colorado Springs, Colorado (-4,400).  On a percentage basis, the greatest loss was posted by Lawton, Oklahoma (-3.9%), followed by Auburn-Opelika, Alabama and Dalton, Georgia (both -3.8%).

The rest:  In addition to the New York and Houston metro areas, 286 other metro areas posted increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 80 reported decreases, and four were unchanged over the year.

MuniNet Guide provides snapshot views of metro area employment, unemployment and labor force trends, along with comparisons across time and to state and national benchmarks. Visit the Employment & Unemployment Trends for U.S. Metro Areas page for an index of metro areas, listed here by state.

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