April 09, 2010
Of the 49 metropolitan areas with a Census 2000 population of 1 million or more, 48 registered over-the-year unemployment rate increases, the largest of which occurred in Las Vegas-Paradise, Nevada (+3.6 percentage points). In Florida, 3 large metropolitan areas reported the next largest rate increases: Jacksonville, Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (+3.3 percentage points each).
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota-Wisconsin, was the only large area to post a rate decrease over the year (−0.3 percentage point).
Among all of the nation's 372 metropolitan areas, unemployment rates were higher in February than a year earlier in 347 areas, lower in 21 areas, and unchanged in 4 areas.
Farmington, New Mexico, registered the largest jobless rate increase from February 2009 (+5.0 percentage points). The areas with the next largest rate increases were Steubenville-Weirton, Ohio-West Virginia (+4.8 percentage points); Decatur, Illinois, and Yuma, Arizona (+4.5 points each); and Rockford, Illinois (+4.0 points). All five of these areas experienced job losses in the goods-producing sector over the year. Thirty additional areas recorded jobless rate increases of 3.0 percentage points or more.
Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana, reported the largest over-the-year jobless rate decrease in February (−3.8 percentage points). Three other areas posted rate decreases of at least 1.0 percentage point.
These data are from the BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics program. Data for the most recent month are preliminary. For more information, see the "Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment — February 2010" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-10-0425.