Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Wednesday, February 4, 2015               USDL-15-0156

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 2014


Unemployment rates were lower in December than a year earlier in 341 of the 
372 metropolitan areas, higher in 25 areas, and unchanged in 6 areas, the U.S. 
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Fourteen areas had jobless rates of 
at least 10.0 percent and 158 areas had rates of less than 5.0 percent. Nonfarm 
payroll employment increased over the year in 312 metropolitan areas, decreased 
in 49 areas, and was unchanged in 11 areas. The national unemployment rate in 
December was 5.4 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 6.5 percent a year 
earlier.

Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Yuma, Ariz., and El Centro, Calif., had the highest unemployment rates in 
December, 22.1 percent and 21.0 percent, respectively. Midland, Texas, had the 
lowest unemployment rate, 2.1 percent. A total of 208 areas had December 
unemployment rates below the U.S. figure of 5.4 percent, 155 areas had rates 
above it, and 9 areas had rates equal to that of the nation. (See table 1.)

Decatur, Ill., had the largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in 
December (-4.9 percentage points), followed by Danville, Ill. (-4.8 points). 
Fifty-one other areas had rate decreases of at least 2.0 percentage points. 
Alexandria, La., had the largest over-the-year jobless rate increase (+1.9 
percentage points).

Of the 49 metropolitan areas with a Census 2000 population of 1 million or more, 
Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark., had the highest unemployment rate in December, 7.6 
percent. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis., had the lowest jobless 
rate among the large areas, 3.3 percent. Forty-eight of the large areas had 
over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, the largest of which occurred in 
Providence-Fall River-Warwick, R.I.-Mass. (-2.9 percentage points), and Chicago-
Joliet-Naperville, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. (-2.7 points). The only rate increase occurred 
in New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, La. (+1.5 percentage points). 

Metropolitan Division Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Eleven of the most populous metropolitan areas are made up of 34 metropolitan 
divisions, which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers. In 
December, Gary, Ind., had the highest unemployment rate among the divisions, 7.8 
percent. Framingham, Mass., and San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif., had 
the lowest rates among the divisions, 3.7 percent each. (See table 2.)

Thirty-three of the metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate 
decreases in December. The largest of the declines occurred in Chicago-Joliet-
Naperville, Ill. (-2.9 percentage points). The only unemployment rate increase was 
in Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla. (+0.1 percentage point).

Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In December, 312 metropolitan areas had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll 
employment, 49 had decreases, and 11 had no change. The largest over-the-year 
employment increases occurred in Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+136,900), New 
York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. (+129,000), and Houston-Sugar 
Land-Baytown, Texas (+120,600). The largest over-the-year percentage gain in 
employment occurred in Midland, Texas (+6.0 percent), followed by Longview, Texas 
(+5.2 percent), and Lake Charles, La. (+5.0 percent). (See table 3.)

The largest over-the-year decreases in employment occurred in Atlantic City-Hammonton, 
N.J. (-8,100), Peoria, Ill. (-1,900), and Syracuse, N.Y. (-1,800). The largest over-
the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Atlantic City-Hammonton, N.J. 
(-6.0 percent), Steubenville-Weirton, Ohio-W.Va. (-3.6 percent), and Ocean City, N.J. 
(-3.2 percent). 

Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in all of the 38 metropolitan areas with 
annual average employment levels above 750,000 in 2013. The largest over-the-year 
percentage increase in employment in these large metropolitan areas occurred in 
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+4.4 percent), followed by Orlando-Kissimmee-
Sanford, Fla. (+4.3 percent), and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+4.2 percent). 

Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Nonfarm payroll employment data were available in December 2014 for 32 metropolitan 
divisions, which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers within a 
metropolitan area. All of the 32 metropolitan divisions had over-the-year employment 
gains. The largest over-the-year increase in employment among the metropolitan 
divisions occurred in Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+108,100), followed by New York-
White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. (+106,900), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. 
(+70,600). (See table 4.)

The largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment among the metropolitan 
divisions occurred in Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+4.9 percent), followed by Fort 
Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, Fla., and San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood 
City, Calif. (+3.7 percent each). 

_____________
The Regional and State Unemployment 2014 Annual Averages news release is scheduled 
to be released on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. (EST). The Regional and 
State Employment and Unemployment news release for January 2015 is scheduled to be 
released on Tuesday, March 17, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). The Metropolitan Area 
Employment and Unemployment news release for January 2015 is scheduled to be 
released on Friday, March 20, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).



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 |          Upcoming Changes to Current Employment Statistics Data            |
 |                                                                            |
 |  Effective with the release of January 2015 estimates on March 17, 2015,   |
 |  all nonfarm payroll employment estimates for states and areas presented   |
 |  in tables 3 and 4 of this news release will be adjusted to 2014 benchmark |
 |  levels. Not seasonally adjusted data beginning with April 2013 and        |
 |  seasonally adjusted data beginning with January 2010 are subject to       |
 |  revision. Some seasonally adjusted series may be revised back to 1990.    |
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 |        Upcoming Changes to Local Area Unemployment Statistics Data         |
 |                                                                            |
 |    Effective with the issuance of Regional and State Unemployment 2014     |
 |    Annual Averages on March 4, 2015, 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 replaced       |
 |    with data produced using a new generation of time-series models.        |
 |    Revised estimates will be loaded into the BLS time-series database      |
 |    back to the series beginnings in 1976, 1990, or 1994 at that time.      |
 |    Both seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted data will be       |
 |    affected. The revisions to model-based data at the state level          |
 |    and below for 2013 and 2014 also will incorporate updated               |
 |    estimation inputs, while the revisions for all model-based data         |
 |    from April 2010 forward will reflect new population controls            |
 |    from the U.S. Census Bureau.                                            |
 |                                                                            |
 |    For non-modeled substate areas, data will reflect methodological        |
 |    changes and the incorporation of estimation inputs from the             |
 |    American Community Survey effective with the issuance of the            |
 |    January 2015 Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news         |
 |    release on March 20, 2015. Subsequently on April 21, 2015,              |
 |    comprehensive revisions for substate areas from 2010-14 will be         |
 |    loaded into the BLS time-series database. More information on           |
 |    all upcoming changes to Local Area Unemployment Statistics data         |
 |    is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/lau/lauschanges2015.htm. |
 |                                                                            |
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 |          Upcoming Changes to Metropolitan Area and Metropolitan            |
 |                        Division Delineations                               |
 |                                                                            |
 |    In addition to the changes described above, both the civilian           |
 |    labor force data presented in tables 1 and 2 and the nonfarm            |
 |    payroll employment data presented in tables 3 and 4 of this news        |
 |    release will reflect implementation of revised metropolitan area        |
 |    and metropolitan division delineations effective with the               |
 |    January 2015 issuance on March 20, 2015. The revised delineations       |
 |    were issued by the Office of Management and Budget for solely           |
 |    statistical purposes through Bulletin No. 13-01 on February 28,         |
 |    2013, based on the application of updated statistical standards         |
 |    to U.S. Census Bureau population and journey-to-work data. The          |
 |    Metropolitan New England City and Town Areas (NECTAs) and NECTA         |
 |    Divisions again will be used for the six New England states,            |
 |    rather than the county-based delineations, for purposes of this         |
 |    news release. Compared with the Census 2000-based delineations,         |
 |    the number of metropolitan areas in the U.S. and Puerto Rico            |
 |    will increase from 380 to 394, while the number of metropolitan         |
 |    divisions will increase from 34 to 38. The analyses of both             |
 |    unemployment rates and nonfarm payroll employment changes for           |
 |    large metropolitan areas will focus on the 51 areas with 2010           |
 |    Census populations of 1 million or more.                                |
 |                                                                            |
 |    Within the BLS time-series database, both civilian labor force          |
 |    and nonfarm payroll employment series reconstructed back to             |
 |    January 1990 to reflect the revised metropolitan area and               |
 |    metropolitan division delineations will be loaded on March 17,          |
 |    2015, three days before the issuance of the January 2015                |
 |    Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release.             |
 |    More information about the upcoming statistical area changes            |
 |    is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/lau/lausmsa.htm.         |
 |                                                                            |
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Last Modified Date: February 04, 2015