Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, May 2, 2018                       USDL-18-0681

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 -- MARCH 2018


Unemployment rates were lower in March than a year earlier in 302 of the 388 
metropolitan areas, higher in 64 areas, and unchanged in 22 areas, the U.S. Bureau 
of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty areas had jobless rates of less than 
3.0 percent and five areas had rates of at least 10.0 percent. Nonfarm payroll 
employment increased over the year in 308 metropolitan areas, decreased in 72 areas, 
and was unchanged in 8 areas. The national unemployment rate in March was 4.1 percent, 
not seasonally adjusted, down from 4.6 percent a year earlier.

Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In March, Ames, IA, had the lowest unemployment rate, 1.7 percent. El Centro, CA, had 
the highest unemployment rate, 15.3 percent. A total of 194 areas had March jobless 
rates below the U.S. rate of 4.1 percent, 179 areas had rates above it, and 15 areas 
had rates equal to that of the nation. (See table 1.)

Rockford, IL, had the largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in March (-3.3 
percentage points). An additional 52 areas had rate declines of at least 1.0 percentage 
point. The largest over-the-year rate increases occurred in California-Lexington Park,
MD; Glens Falls, NY; Hot Springs, AR; and Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ (+0.6 percentage point 
each).

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, 
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA; and 
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA, had the lowest unemployment rates in March, 2.7 
percent each. Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY, had the highest jobless rate 
among the large areas, 5.8 percent. Forty-five large areas had over-the-year 
unemployment rate decreases, five had increases, and one had no change. The largest 
rate decrease occurred in Cleveland-Elyria, OH (-1.4 percentage points). No large 
area had an unemployment rate increase greater than 0.4 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 March, San 
Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA, and San Rafael, CA, had the lowest 
unemployment rates among the divisions, 2.3 percent each. Tacoma-Lakewood, WA, had the 
highest division rate, 5.8 percent. (See table 2.)

In March, 30 metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, 6 
had increases, and 2 had no change. The largest rate declines occurred in Anaheim-Santa 
Ana-Irvine, CA, and Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA (-0.9 percentage point each). None of 
the over-the-year jobless rate increases exceeded 0.4 percentage point.

Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In March, 308 metropolitan areas had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll 
employment, 72 had decreases, and 8 had no change. The largest over-the-year employment 
increases occurred in New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (+121,800), Dallas-Fort 
Worth-Arlington, TX (+101,200), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA (+87,100). The 
largest over-the-year percentage gains in employment occurred in Midland, TX (+9.9 
percent), Ocean City, NJ (+7.4 percent), and Odessa, TX (+6.6 percent). (See table 3.)

The largest over-the-year decrease in employment occurred in Toledo, OH (-4,600), 
followed by Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA (-3,600), and Springfield, IL (-3,400). 
The largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment occurred in Enid, OK (-3.1 
percent), followed by Sebring, FL, and Springfield, IL (-3.0 percent each).

Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in all 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census 
population of 1 million or more. The largest over-the-year percentage increases in 
employment in these large metropolitan areas occurred in Austin-Round Rock, TX (+3.6 
percent), Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL (+3.5 percent), and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, 
AZ, and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA (+3.2 percent each).

Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In March, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 34 of the 38 metropolitan divisions 
over the year, fell in 3, and remained unchanged in Taunton-Middleborough-Norton, MA. 
The largest over-the-year increase in employment among the metropolitan divisions 
occurred in New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ (+93,400), followed by Dallas-
Plano-Irving, TX (+78,400), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA (+61,700). The 
over-the-year decreases occurred in Peabody-Salem-Beverly, MA (-1,400), and Framingham, 
MA, and Gary, IN (-700 each). (See table 4.)

The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury 
Town, MA-NH (+3.9 percent), followed by Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA (+3.2 percent), 
and Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX (+3.1 percent). The over-the-year percentage decreases 
occurred in Peabody-Salem-Beverly, MA (-1.4 percent), Framingham, MA (-0.4 percent), 
and Gary, IN (-0.3 percent).

_____________
The State Employment and Unemployment news release for April is scheduled to be released 
on Friday, May 18, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). The Metropolitan Area Employment and 
Unemployment news release for April is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 30, 2018, 
at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).



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Last Modified Date: May 02, 2018