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Unemployment rates were lower in December 2015 than they were a year earlier in 296 of the 387 U.S. metropolitan areas, higher in 79 areas, and unchanged in 12 areas. There were 25 areas that had jobless rates of less than 3.0 percent, and 12 areas that had jobless rates of 10.0 percent or more.
At 2.2 percent, Ames, Iowa, had the lowest unemployment rate among the metropolitan areas in December 2015. El Centro, California (19.6 percent), and Yuma, Arizona (18.0 percent), had the highest rates. There were 188 areas that had jobless rates below the overall U.S. rate of 4.8 percent, 187 areas that had rates above the national rate, and 12 areas that had rates equal to the national rate.
Atlantic City-Hammonton, New Jersey, had the largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in December 2015 (–3.4 percentage points), followed by El Centro, California (–3.0 percentage points). Three other areas had rate declines of at least 2.0 percentage points. The largest over-the-year unemployment rate increase occurred in Farmington, New Mexico (+2.1 percentage points).
These data are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program and 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 — December 2015” (HTML) (PDF).
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unemployment rates decreased in 296 metropolitan areas for year ending December 2015 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/unemployment-rates-decreased-in-296-metropolitan-areas-for-year-ending-december-2015.htm (visited March 27, 2023).