February 08, 1999
In December 1998, 66 of the 328 U.S. metropolitan areas had higher unemployment rates than they had 12 months before. Odessa-Midland, Texas—an oil extraction area—had the largest over-the-year increase at 2.7 percentage points. In contrast, the National unemployment rate declined 0.4 percentage point.
Large unemployment rate increases were also experienced by San Angelo, Texas (1.9 points), and Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa (both 1.5 points). Three other areas had increases of at least 1.0 point.
At the end of 1998, the highest unemployment rates among metropolitan areas were in Yuma, Arizona (20.0 percent), McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas (17.8 percent), and Visalia-Tulare-Porterville, California (16.3 percent).
These data are a product of the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program. More information can be found in news release USDL 99-26, "Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment: December 1998." Year-to-year comparisons are based on changes in not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rates from December 1997 to December 1998.