March 29, 2010
In January, unemployment rates were higher than a year earlier in 363 of the 372 metropolitan areas, lower in 7 areas, and unchanged in 2 areas.
The national unemployment rate in January was 10.6 percent, not seasonally adjusted, up from 8.5 percent a year earlier.
Overall, 159 areas recorded unemployment rates above the U.S. figure of 10.6 percent, 210 areas reported rates below it, and 3 areas had rates equal to that of the nation.
In January, 187 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent, up from 86 areas a year earlier, while 38 areas posted rates below 7.0 percent, down from 107 areas in January 2009. Thirty-five areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, while 2 areas registered rates below 5.0 percent. Among the 35 areas with jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, 15 were located in California and 6 were in Michigan. Fargo, N.D.-Minn., and Bismarck, N.D., registered the lowest unemployment rates in January, 4.8 and 4.9 percent, respectively.
Three areas in California registered the highest unemployment rates: El Centro, 27.3 percent; Merced, 21.7 percent; and Yuba City, 20.8 percent.
The metropolitan area data are also not seasonally adjusted and are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program. January 2010 metropolitan area unemployment rates are preliminary and subject to revision. Find out more in "Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment: January 2010" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-10-0320.