Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Wednesday, February 3, 2016                 USDL-16-0208

Technical information:
 Employment:    (202) 691-6559  •  sminfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/sae
 Unemployment:  (202) 691-6392  •  lausinfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/lau
 
Media contact:  (202) 691-5902  •  PressOffice@bls.gov


        METROPOLITAN AREA EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT -- DECEMBER 2015


Unemployment rates were lower in December than a year earlier in 296 of the 387 
metropolitan areas, higher in 79 areas, and unchanged in 12 areas, the U.S. 
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Twenty-five areas had jobless rates 
of less than 3.0 percent, and 12 areas had rates of at least 10.0 percent. 
Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 280 metropolitan areas, 
decreased in 94 areas, and was unchanged in 13 areas. The national unemployment 
rate in December was 4.8 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 5.4 percent 
a year earlier.

Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Ames, Iowa, had the lowest unemployment rate in December, 2.2 percent. El Centro, 
Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., had the highest unemployment rates, 19.6 percent and 
18.0 percent, respectively. A total of 188 areas had December jobless rates below 
the U.S. rate of 4.8 percent, 187 areas had rates above it, and 12 areas had 
rates equal to that of the nation. (See table 1.)

Atlantic City-Hammonton, N.J., had the largest over-the-year unemployment rate 
decrease in December (-3.4 percentage points), followed by El Centro, Calif. 
(-3.0 points). Three other areas had rate declines of at least 2.0 percentage 
points. The largest over-the-year rate increase occurred in Farmington, N.M. 
(+2.1 percentage points).

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, 
Salt Lake City, Utah, had the lowest unemployment rate in December, 2.8 percent. 
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev., and Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark., had the 
highest rates among the large areas, 6.2 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively. 
Forty-three large areas had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, four had 
increases, and four had no change. New Orleans-Metairie, La., had the largest 
rate decrease (-1.7 percentage points). The largest over-the-year rate increase 
occurred in Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas (+0.6 percentage point).

Metropolitan Division Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Eleven of the most populous metropolitan areas are made up of 38 metropolitan 
divisions, which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers. In 
December, Montgomery County-Bucks County-Chester County, Pa., had the lowest 
unemployment rate among the divisions, 3.1 percent. Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, 
Mich., had the highest division rate, 6.4 percent. (See table 2.)

In December, 34 of the metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment 
rate decreases, 3 had increases, and 1 had no change. The largest declines 
occurred in Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (-1.7 percentage points), 
and Camden, N.J. (-1.6 points). The largest over-the-year rate increase 
occurred in Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (+0.4 percentage point).

Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In December, 280 metropolitan areas had over-the-year increases in nonfarm 
payroll employment, 94 had decreases, and 13 had no change. The largest 
over-the-year employment increases occurred in New York-Newark-Jersey City, 
N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. (+156,400), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif. (+135,100), 
and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+98,900). The largest over-the-year 
percentage gain in employment occurred in Idaho Falls, Idaho (+4.5 percent), 
followed by Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Salisbury, Md.-Del., and San Jose-Sunnyvale-
Santa Clara, Calif. (+4.4 percent each). (See table 3.)

The largest over-the-year decreases in employment occurred in Lafayette, La. 
(-5,500), Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, Iowa-Ill. (-4,500), and Houma-Thibodaux, 
La. (-3,600). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment 
occurred in Pine Bluff, Ark. (-7.0 percent), Cape Girardeau, Mo.-Ill. (-3.8 
percent), and Williamsport, Pa. (-3.7 percent). 

Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in 50 of the 51 metropolitan areas with 
a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more and decreased in New Orleans-
Metairie, La. (-0.2 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage increase in 
employment in these large metropolitan areas occurred in San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa 
Clara, Calif. (+4.4 percent), followed by Austin-Round Rock, Texas, and Portland-
Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash. (+3.8 percent each).

Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In December, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 34 of the 38 metropolitan 
divisions over the year and decreased in 4. The largest over-the-year increase 
in employment among the metropolitan divisions occurred in New York-Jersey 
City-White Plains, N.Y.-N.J. (+122,700), followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-
Glendale, Calif. (+93,700), and Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+84,400). The 
over-the-year decreases in employment occurred in Lake County-Kenosha County, 
Ill.-Wis. (-5,100), Dutchess County-Putnam County, N.Y. (-3,300), Nashua, 
N.H.-Mass. (-1,500), and Taunton-Middleborough-Norton, Mass. (-900). (See 
table 4.)

The largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment among the 
metropolitan divisions occurred in San Rafael, Calif. (+5.6 percent), followed 
by San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, Calif. (+3.7 percent), 
and Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas, and Tacoma-Lakewood, Wash. (+3.6 percent each). 
The over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Dutchess 
County-Putnam County, N.Y. (-2.3 percent), Taunton-Middleborough-Norton, Mass. 
(-1.5 percent), Lake County-Kenosha County, Ill.-Wis. (-1.3 percent), and 
Nashua, N.H.-Mass. (-1.2 percent). 

______________
The Regional and State Unemployment 2015 Annual Averages news release is 
scheduled to be released on Friday, February 26, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (EST). 
The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news release for January 
2016 is scheduled to be released on Monday, March 14, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). 
The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for January 2016 
is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 18, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).



    _____________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                     |
   |    Upcoming Changes to Local Area Unemployment Statistics Data      |
   |                                                                     |
   |  Effective with the release of Regional and State Unemployment 2015 |
   |  Annual Averages on February 26, 2016, the civilian labor force     |
   |  and unemployment data for census regions and divisions and all     |
   |  states, the District of Columbia, and the seven modeled substate   |
   |  areas presented in tables 1 and 2 of this news release will be     |
   |  revised from 2011 to 2015 to incorporate updated inputs, new       |
   |  population controls, and reestimation of models. The new           |
   |  population controls will reflect the annual updating of population |
   |  estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau. Civilian labor force and      |
   |  unemployment estimates for all other metropolitan areas and        |
   |  metropolitan divisions subsequently will be revised to reflect     |
   |  updated inputs and adjustment to the new statewide estimates.      |
   |  These revised estimates will be published in conjunction with      |
   |  the March 2016 Regional and State Employment and Unemployment      |
   |  news release on April 15, 2016.                                    |
   |_____________________________________________________________________|


    _____________________________________________________________________
   |									 |
   |     Upcoming Changes to Current Employment Statistics Data		 |
   |   									 |
   |  Effective with the release of January 2016 estimates on March 14,	 |
   |  2016, all nonfarm payroll employment estimates for states and	 |
   |  areas presented in tables 3 and 4 of this news release will be	 |
   |  adjusted to 2015 benchmark levels. Not seasonally adjusted data	 |
   |  beginning with April 2014 and seasonally adjusted data beginning	 |
   |  with January 2011 are subject to revision. Some seasonally	 |
   |  adjusted series may be revised back to 1990.			 |
   |_____________________________________________________________________|



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Last Modified Date: February 03, 2016