February 03, 2005
In December 2004, 26 metropolitan areas registered jobless rates below 3.0 percent; and 10 metropolitan areas posted jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent.
As it did in nearly every month of 2004, Bryan-College Station, Texas, posted the lowest unemployment rate, 1.8 percent, in December. The next lowest rates were reported in Charlottesville, Virginia, 1.9 percent, Gainesville, Florida, 2.0 percent, and Madison, Wisconsin, 2.1 percent. All four of these areas are home to major state universities.
Yuma, Arizona, an agricultural area, again posted the highest unemployment rate, 15.3 percent. The next highest rates were recorded in other agricultural areas, all located in California: Visalia-Tulare-Porterville, 14.8 percent; Merced, and Yuba City, 13.8 percent each.
The national unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in December 2004, not seasonally adjusted.
These data on compensation costs come from the BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics program which produces monthly and annual employment, unemployment, and labor force data for regions, States, counties, metropolitan areas, and many cities. To learn more, see "Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment: December 2004" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 05-165. Data for December 2004 are preliminary and subject to revision.