August 30, 2012
In July 2012, 276 metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 93 reported decreases, and 3 had no change. The largest over-the-year employment increase occurred in New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania (+90,400), followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, California (+86,300), and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+83,700).
In percentage terms, employment in New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania increased 1.1 percent from July 2011 to July 2012. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, California recorded an increase of 1.7 percent, and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas, 3.2 percent.
The largest over-the-year percentage gain in employment was reported in Lafayette, Louisiana (where employment increased by 10.3 percent or 15,400 jobs), followed by Columbus, Indiana (+8.3 percent), and Texarkana, Texas-Texarkana, Arkansas (+7.0 percent).
The largest over-the-year decrease in employment occurred in Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wisconsin (-6,000). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment was reported in Dalton, Georgia (-6.0 percent).
Unemployment rates were lower in July than a year earlier in 305 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 52 areas, and unchanged in 15 areas. In July, 67 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent, down from 112 areas a year earlier, while 94 areas posted rates below 7.0 percent, up from 68 areas in July of last year. Yuma, Arizona, and El Centro, California, recorded the highest unemployment rates in July 2012, 31.2 and 29.9 percent, respectively. Bismarck, North Dakota, registered the lowest unemployment rate, 2.5 percent.
These metropolitan area data are from the Current Employment Statistics (State and Area) and Local Area Unemployment Statistics programs; these data are not seasonally adjusted. Data for the most recent month are preliminary and subject to revision. To learn more, see "Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment — July 2012" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-12-1761.