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Economic News Release
LAU LAU Program Links
SAE SAE Program Links

Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Tuesday, January 5, 2021				  USDL-21-0001

Technical information:
 Employment:  *
 Unemployment:  *
Media contact:		  (202) 691-5902  *


Unemployment rates were higher in November than a year earlier in 386 of the 389 metropolitan
areas and lower in 3 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. A total of 63
areas had jobless rates of less than 4.0 percent, and 12 areas had rates of at least 10.0 
percent. Nonfarm payroll employment decreased over the year in 242 metropolitan areas and was
essentially unchanged in 147 areas. The national unemployment rate in November was 6.4 
percent, not seasonally adjusted, up from 3.3 percent a year earlier.

This news release presents statistics from two monthly programs. The civilian labor force 
and unemployment data are based on the same concepts and definitions as those used for the 
national household survey estimates. These data pertain to individuals by where they reside.
The employment data are from an establishment survey that measures nonfarm employment, hours,
and earnings by industry. These data pertain to jobs on payrolls defined by where the 
establishments are located. For more information about the concepts and statistical 
methodologies used by these two programs, see the Technical Note.

Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In November, El Centro, CA, and Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI, had the highest unemployment
rates, 16.4 percent and 16.0 percent, respectively. Ames, IA, had the lowest unemployment 
rate, 2.0 percent. A total of 272 areas had November jobless rates below the U.S. rate of
6.4 percent, 110 areas had rates above it, and 7 areas had rates equal to that of the
nation. (See table 1.)

The largest over-the-year unemployment rate increase in November occurred in Kahului-
Wailuku-Lahaina, HI (+13.5 percentage points), followed by Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ,
and Odessa, TX (+10.2 points each). Rates rose over the year by at least 5.0 percentage
points in an additional 23 areas. The largest over-the-year rate decrease occurred in El
Centro, CA (-2.3 percentage points).

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, Las 
Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV, had the highest unemployment rate in November, 11.5 percent.
Birmingham-Hoover, AL, and Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI, had the lowest jobless
rates among the large areas, 3.8 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively. All 51 large areas
had over-the-year unemployment rate increases, the largest of which was in Las Vegas-
Henderson-Paradise, NV (+7.9 percentage points). The smallest rate increase from a year 
earlier occurred in St. Louis, MO-IL (+1.2 percentage points).

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 November, Detroit-
Dearborn-Livonia, MI, had the highest unemployment rate among the divisions, 11.3 percent.
Nashua, NH-MA, had the lowest division rate, 3.7 percent. (See table 2.)

In November, all 38 metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate increases,
the largest of which were in Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, MI, and New York-Jersey City-White
Plains, NY-NJ (+7.1 percentage points each). The smallest rate increase occurred in 
Nashua, NH-MA (+1.2 percentage points), followed by Dutchess County-Putnam County, NY, 
and Montgomery County-Bucks County-Chester County, PA (+1.4 points each).

Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In November, 242 metropolitan areas had over-the-year decreases in nonfarm payroll 
employment and 147 were essentially unchanged. The largest over-the-year employment 
decreases occurred in New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (-999,600), Los Angeles-Long
Beach-Anaheim, CA (-514,900), and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (-341,000). The 
largest over-the-year percentage losses in employment occurred in Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina,
HI (-24.8 percent), Flagstaff, AZ (-16.9 percent), and Monroe, MI (-15.5 percent). 
(See table 3.)

Over the year, nonfarm employment declined in 50 of the metropolitan areas with a 2010 
Census population of 1 million or more, while employment was essentially unchanged in 1 area.
The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment in these large metropolitan areas
occurred in Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (-10.1 percent), New York-Newark-Jersey City, 
NY-NJ-PA (-9.9 percent), and Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI; Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL; 
Rochester, NY; and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA (-9.3 percent each).

Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In November, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in all of the 38 metropolitan divisions
over the year. The largest over-the-year decrease in employment among the metropolitan 
divisions occurred in New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ (-756,100), followed by Los
Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA (-386,100), and Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL 
(-274,100). (See table 4.)

The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Haverhill-
Newburyport-Amesbury Town, MA-NH (-10.6 percent), and Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, MI, and New 
York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ (-10.3 percent each).

The State Employment and Unemployment news release for December 2020 is scheduled to be 
released on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (ET). The Metropolitan Area Employment
and Unemployment news release for December 2020 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, 
February 3, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

|											|
|		Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on November 2020			|
|			Establishment and Household Survey Data				|
|											|
| BLS has continued to review all estimation and methodological procedures for the 	|
| establishment survey, which included the review of data, estimation processes, the 	|
| application of the birth-death model, and seasonal adjustment. Business births and 	|
| deaths cannot be adequately captured by the establishment survey as they occur. 	|
| Therefore, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program uses a model to account 	|
| for the relatively stable net employment change generated by business births and 	|
| deaths. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the relationship between business births and 	|
| deaths is no longer stable. Typically, reports with zero employment are not included 	|
| in estimation. For the October final and November preliminary estimates, CES included |
| a portion of these reports in the estimates and made modifications to the birth-death |
| model. In addition for both months, the establishment survey included a portion of 	|
| the reports that returned to reporting positive employment from reporting zero 	|
| employment. For more information, see		|
|											|
| In the establishment survey, workers who are paid by their employer for all or any 	|
| part of the pay period including the 12th of the month are counted as employed, even  |
| if they were not actually at their jobs. Workers who are temporarily or permanently   |
| absent from their jobs and are not being paid are not counted as employed, even if 	|
| they are continuing to receive benefits. The length of the reference period does vary |
| across the respondents in the establishment survey; one-third of businesses have a 	|
| weekly pay period, slightly over 40 percent a bi-weekly, about 20 percent 		|
| semi-monthly, and a small amount monthly.						|
|											|
| For the November 2020 estimates of household employment and unemployment from the 	|
| Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program, BLS continued to implement 	|
| level-shift outliers in the employment and/or unemployment inputs to the state 	|
| models, based on statistical evaluation of movements in each area's inputs. Both the 	|
| Current Population Survey inputs, which serve as the primary inputs to the LAUS 	|
| models, and the nonfarm payroll employment and unemployment insurance claims 		|
| covariates were examined for outliers. The resulting implementation of level shifts 	|
| preserved movements in the published estimates that the models otherwise would have 	|
| discounted, without requiring changes to how the models create estimates at other 	|
| points in the time series.								|
|											|
| The "Frequently asked questions" document at 						|
| extensively 	|
| discusses the impact of a misclassification in the household survey on the national 	|
| estimates for November 2020. Despite the considerable decline in its degree relative  |
| to prior months, this misclassification continued to be widespread geographically, 	|
| with BLS analysis indicating that most states again were affected to at least some 	|
| extent. However, according to usual practice, the data from the household survey are 	|
| accepted as recorded. To maintain data integrity, no ad hoc actions are taken to 	|
| reclassify survey responses. Hence, the household survey estimates of employed and 	|
| unemployed people that serve as the primary inputs to the state models were affected 	|
| to varying degrees by the misclassification, which in turn affected the official LAUS |
| estimates for November 2020. Similar misclassifications had occurred in the household |
| survey from March through October (see	|
| pandemic-and-response-on-the-employment-situation-news-release.htm#summaries).	|
|											|
| Household data for substate areas are controlled to the employment and unemployment 	|
| totals for their respective model-based areas. Hence, the preliminary November and 	|
| revised October estimates for substate areas reflect the use of level-shift outliers, |
| where implemented, in the inputs for their model-based control areas. The substate 	|
| area estimates for both months also were impacted by misclassification in the 	|
| household survey, in proportion to the impacts of the misclassifications on the data 	|
| for their model-based control areas.							|
|											|
| Household data for Puerto Rico are not modeled, but rather are derived from a monthly |
| household survey similar to the Current Population Survey. The Puerto Rico Department |
| of Labor has reported a misclassification in its household survey since May 2020 	|
| similar in nature to the misclassification in the Current Population Survey, which 	|
| has affected the local area data proportionally.					|

|											|
|		Upcoming Changes to Local Area Unemployment Statistics Data		|
|											|
| Effective with the issuance of Regional and State Unemployment 2020 Annual Averages 	|
| on March 3, 2021, 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. At that time, revised 	|
| model-based estimates will be loaded into the BLS time-series database back to the 	|
| series beginnings in 1976, 1990, or 1994. Both seasonally adjusted and not seasonally |
| adjusted data will be affected. The revisions to model-based data at the state level  |
| and below for 2019 and 2020 also will incorporate updated estimation inputs, while 	|
| the revisions for all model-based data from April 2010 forward also will reflect new 	|
| population controls from the U.S. Census Bureau.					|
|											|
| Data for non-modeled substate areas, including the non-modeled metropolitan areas and |
| metropolitan divisions presented in tables 1 and 2 of this news release, subsequently |
| will be updated in the BLS time-series database in two phases. First, on March 19, 	|
| 2021, historical data through December 2009 will be adjusted to the new totals for 	|
| model-based areas. Second, on April 16, 2021, data from January 2010 through December |
| 2020 will be revised to reflect updated estimation inputs and adjustment to the new 	|
| totals for model-based areas.								|

The PDF version of the news release

News release charts

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: January 05, 2021