Unemployment Rates Lower in Most Metro Areas

Unemployment rates were lower in November than a year earlier in 304 of the 388 metropolitan areas, higher in 67 areas, and unchanged in 17 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported.

Sixty-nine areas had jobless rates of less than 3.0 percent and three areas had rates of at least 10.0 percent. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 313 metropolitan areas, decreased in 70 areas, and was unchanged in five areas.

The national unemployment rate in November was 3.9 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 4.4 percent a year earlier.

In November, Ames, IA, had the lowest unemployment rate, 1.5 percent, followed by Mankato-North Mankato, MN, and Urban Honolulu, HI, 1.9 percent each. El Centro, CA, and Yuma, AZ,had the highest unemployment rates, 19.8 percent and 15.6 percent, respectively.

El Centro, CA, had the largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in November (-3.0 percentage points). An additional 98 areas had rate declines of at least 1.0 percentage point. The largest over-the year rate increase occurred in Ocean City, NJ (+1.4 percentage points).

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI, had the lowest unemployment rate in November, 2.4 percent.

Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY, had the highest jobless rate among the large areas, 5.3 percent. Forty-two large areas had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, six had increases, and three had no change.

The largest rate decrease occurred in Birmingham-Hoover, AL (-2.1 percentage points). The largest over-the-year rate increase was in Rochester, NY (+0.6 percentage point).

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