June 03, 2011
In April 2011, 38 metropolitan areas in the Southwest reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, and 8 reported decreases. The largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment in the Southwest was reported in Odessa, Texas (+4.5 percent); the largest decrease in Pine Bluff, Arkansas (-3.2 percent).
April 2011 over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment in three Southwest metropolitan areas—Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+2.9 percent); Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+2.0 percent); and Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas (+1.8 percent)—were among the largest over-the-year percentage increases in all metropolitan areas with annual average employment levels above 750,000 in 2010.
From April 2010 to April 2011, unemployment rates decreased in 29 of the 46 metropolitan areas in the Southwest region.
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, Louisiana, registered the largest over-the-year jobless rate increase among all of the nation's large metropolitan areas. Two other metropolitan areas in the Southwest region—Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas—were among the metropolitan areas (regardless of population) that experienced the largest over-the-year jobless rate increases.
The lowest unemployment rates among metropolitan areas in the Southwest in April 2011, were 4.4. and 4.5 percent in Midland, Texas, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The highest rates were 11.4 and 11.5 percent in McAllen-Edinburg-Mission and Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas. Oklahoma City was the metropolitan area with the lowest jobless rate among the nation's large metropolitan areas (those with a Census 2000 population of 1 million or more).
These data are from the Current Employment Statistics (State and Metro Area) and Local Area Unemployment Statistics programs. Data for the most recent month are preliminary and subject to revision. To learn more, see "Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment – April 2011" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-11-0807. The Southwest BLS Information Office has links to additional data for the Southwest region, which consists of the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.