Job Market Update: Latest Metro and Regional Unemployment Data

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BLS-regional-metro-data-on-BLS-employment-reportThe U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its October 2014 unemployment report, showing an overall monthly gain of 214,000 jobs. This number is lower than what economists expected, but not bad considering the average monthly gains for the 12 months leading up to October were 222,000. January is now the only month of 2014 with job gains below 200,000. In total, since the beginning of the year nearly 2.3 million jobs have been added to the US economy.

The unemployment rate also declined by 0.1 percentage points, dropping from 5.9 percent to 5.8 percent, which is the lowest rate we’ve seen since September, 2008.

Regional and State Report

Looking to the BLS’ latest “Regional and State Employment and Unemployment” report, both regional and state unemployment rates saw little change in the United States during the month of September. 31 states had unemployment rate decreases from August, eight states had increases, and 11 states and the District of Columbia had no change. 42 states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, five states had increases, and three states had no change.

Metro Regional Report

Digging deeper into the September “Metro Area Employment and Unemployment” numbers, unemployment rates were lower in September than a year earlier in 339 of the 372 metropolitan areas. Yuma, Ariz. had the highest unemployment rate in September (25.9 percent) and Bismarck, N.D., once again had the lowest unemployment rate (2.1 percent). A total of 191 areas had unemployment rates below the U.S. average, 167 areas had rates above it, and 14 areas had rates equal to that of the nation.

In other positive news, all 34 metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases in September. The largest decline occurred in Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill. (-2.5 percentage points).

The Highlights by Region

Mid–Atlantic

By the end of September, the Mid-Atlantic region showed an unemployment rate of 6.1 percent (-0.1 from the previous month). Philadelphia City, PA had the largest rate decline from a year earlier (-2.8 percentage points), however they actually had one of the highest unemployment rates in the region with 7.1 percent. Danville, VA reported the highest unemployment rate at 7.2, while State College, PA reported the lowest unemployment rate at 3.7 percent.

Midwest

The Midwest region showed an impressive unemployment rate of 5.7 percent (-0.1 percent) in the month of September. Leading the charge in this region was North Dakota, who had the lowest unemployment rate of 2.8 percent. By city, Bismarck, North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate with an impressive 2.1 percent (-0.1 percentage points from the previous month). Michigan had the highest unemployment rate at 7.4 (-0.3 from the previous month).

Mountain-Plains

The Mountain-Plains region reported a 5.6 percent unemployment rate. By month’s end, the Logan-UT-ID metropolitan area realized the lowest unemployment rate at 2.6 percent, with Billings-MT a close second at 3.0 percent. Kansas City, MO-KS reported the highest unemployment in the region at 6.0 percent.

New England

The New England region showed a 0.1 percent increase in their unemployment rate, rising to 6.0 percent. New Hampshire’s Portsmouth metro area recorded the lowest unemployment rate of the region, as it dropped 0.3 percent to 3.5 percent in September. The highest unemployment rate in the region came in at Lawrence-Methuen-Salem MA, NH with 10.2 percent.

South

The South region’s unemployment rate dropped 0.1 percent from 6.3 to 6.2 percent. Tennessee had the largest unemployment rate decline from September 2013. Dalton, GA had the highest unemployment rate in the region at 9.0 percent, while Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL and Asheville, NC tied for the lowest unemployment rates in the region with a showing of 4.6 percent.

Southwest

The Southwest region’s unemployment rate remained unchanged from a month earlier at 5.3 percent. Oklahoma had the lowest unemployment rate in the region at 4.7 percent, but the metro area with the lowest rate was Midland, Texas, at 2.6 percent. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission had the highest rate of unemployment at 8.5 percent. This region saw significant growth in Texas – adding 30,000 new jobs.

West

The West continued to have high unemployment at 6.5 percent (-0.1 percentage point from the previous month). Within the region, Yuma, AZ continues to have the highest unemployment rate in the country, with 25.9 percent (-3.9 percentage points from the previous month). Logan-UT-ID reported the lowest unemployment rate at 2.6 percent.

At Adecco, we have clients in every region of the country who have staff augmentation plans in place. To get more information about how our staffing solutions can help in this job market and to sign up for our emails, click here!

Contributor

While she’s settling down in the Sunshine State, Meredith is a Carolina girl by birth. She earned her Master’s from the College of Charleston, but NC State will always be #1 in her heart. In the world of Adecco Group marketing, she writes thought leadership content and sends emails. Her life-long dream is to sail around the world with her husband and dog.

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