April 21, 2014
Among the nation's metropolitan areas, Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, Louisiana, had the lowest unemployment rate in February: 2.8 percent. Yuma, Arizona, and El Centro, California, had the highest rates, 22.9 percent and 21.0 percent, respectively. Unemployment rates in each of these metropolitan areas was lower in February 2014 than a year earlier. In Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, the unemployment rate was 1.4 percentage points lower in February 2014 than in February 2013. Unemployment rates in Yuma and El Centro were 1.0 and 2.6 percentage points lower, respectively.
|Metropolitan area||Unemployment rate||Change in unemployment rate|
(in percentage points),
February 2013–February 2014
|February 2013||February 2014 (p)|
Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL
Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC
Jefferson City, MO
Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway, SC
Cape Girardeau-Jackson, MO-IL
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA
Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA
El Centro, CA
(p) = Preliminary
Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway, South Carolina—where the February 2013 unemployment rate was 11.1 percent and the February 2014 rate was 7.2 percent—had the largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in February (-3.9 percentage points). Rate declines of at least 2.0 percentage points occurred in 34 other metropolitan areas, and an additional 158 areas had declines between 1.0 and 1.9 points.
Jefferson City, Missouri and Cape Girardeau-Jackson, Missouri-Illinois (with unemployment rates of 6.9 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively) had the largest over-the-year jobless rate increases (+1.0 percentage point each).
A total of 200 metropolitan areas had February unemployment rates below the U.S. figure of 7.0 percent, 162 areas had rates above it, and 10 areas had rates equal to that of the nation.
Of the 49 metropolitan areas with a Census 2000 population of 1 million or more, Providence-Fall River-Warwick, Rhode Island-Massachusetts, had the highest unemployment rate in February, 9.7 percent; the rate was 10.5 percent a year earlier.
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, Louisiana, had the lowest rate among the large areas, 4.2 percent in February 2014 (compared with 6.1 percent in February 2013).
Among the large areas, 47 had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases and 2 had increases. The largest rate decline (-2.6 percentage points) occurred in Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, North Carolina-South Carolina, where the rate declined from 9.0 percent to 6.4 percent over the February 2013 to February 2014 period. No large area had a jobless rate increase greater than 0.2 percentage point over the year.
These metropolitan area data are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program and are not seasonally adjusted. To learn more, see “Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment — February 2014” (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-14-0565.