February 04, 2011
In December 2010, among the 14 metropolitan areas with jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, 13 were located in the West census region and 12 of those were in California.
El Centro, California, again recorded the highest unemployment rate, 28.3 percent, followed by Yuma, Arizona, 23.2 percent. Yuma, Arizona, also registered the largest over-the-year unemployment rate increase (+4.4 percentage points). No other area had an increase of 2.0 percentage points or more.
Of the 14 areas with jobless rates under 5.0 percent, only one was located in the West census region (Honolulu, Hawaii, at 4.8 percent).
Across the nation, unemployment rates were lower in December 2010 than a year earlier in 238 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 115 areas, and unchanged in 19 areas.
Over the 12-month December 2009–December 2010 period, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in El Centro, California (−1.6 percent), while it increased in Yuma, Arizona (0.8 percent).
Nationwide, 200 metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 156 reported decreases, and 16 were unchanged in December.
These data are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics and Current Employment Statistics (State and Metro Area) programs. Data for the most recent month are preliminary and subject to revision. To learn more, see "Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment — December 2010" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-11-0127. The West BLS Information Office has links to additional data for the West region.