February 07, 2012
In December, 239 metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 127 reported decreases, and 6 had no change.
Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in 32 of the 36 metropolitan areas with annual average employment levels above 750,000 in 2010.
In December 2011, unemployment rates were lower than a year earlier in 329 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 36 areas, and unchanged in 7 areas.
Ten areas recorded jobless rates higher than 15.0 percent, while 24 areas registered rates of less than 5.0 percent. The national unemployment rate in December was 8.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 9.1 percent a year earlier.
In December, 66 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent, down from 110 areas a year earlier, while 125 areas posted rates below 7.0 percent, up from 71 areas in December 2010.
A total of 225 areas recorded December unemployment rates below the U.S. figure of 8.3 percent, 143 areas reported rates above it, and 4 areas had rates equal to that of the nation.
The metropolitan area data are not seasonally adjusted and are from the Current Employment Statistics (State and Area) and Local Area Unemployment Statistics programs. December 2011 metropolitan area unemployment rates are preliminary and subject to revision. Find out more in "Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment — December 2011" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-12-0161.