On May 1st, financial experts throughout the United States were once again encouraged by the BLS’ latest “Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment” report. According to the report, which focused specifically on data from March, national joblessness continued to decelerate, as unemployment was lower in 306 of the nation’s 372 metro areas in March 2013 than it was in March 2012.
At the same time, 157 areas reported jobless rates of less than seven percent, an increase of 44 areas, when compared to March 2012, while 44 areas’ unemployment rates were 10 percent or higher. Unsurprisingly, two of these areas, Yuma, Ariz., and El Centro, Calif., once again documented the country’s highest unemployment rates, at 26 and 23.7 percent, respectively.
On the other hand, for the fourth consecutive month, Midland, Texas, recorded the nation’s lowest jobless rate – 3.1 percent. Meanwhile, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, 202 metro areas’ unemployment rates were lower than March’s national rate of 7.6 percent, as nonfarm payroll employment rose in 287 metro areas, from March 2012 to March 2013.
In addition, the BLS published the following figures concerning regional inflation and employment.
- Mid–Atlantic: Morgantown, W.Va.’s jobless rate decreased for the second straight month in March, from 5.6 to 4.8 percent, as total unemployment declined to 3,300, the lowest monthly figure recorded since November 2012. Although the civilian labor force also deteriorated, employment did increase, rising to 64,100. (Link: http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.wv_morgantown_msa.htm)
- Midwest: The greater Chicago area’s Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) and Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) rose by 0.9 and 0.8 percent, respectively, from March 2012 to March 2013. (Link: http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.il_chicago_md.htm)
- Mountain-Plains: From March 2012 to March 2013, hiring upturned within a majority of the greater Denver, Colo., area’s private sectors. The rise in employment was mostly pertinent within the education and health services and professional and business services sectors, however, increasing by 4.3 percent. (Link: http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.co_denver_msa.htm)
- New England: After rising considerably in January, New Haven, Conn.’s unemployment rate has steadily decreased ever since, declining from 8.8 percent in February to 8.5 percent in March. Although total employment rose by 1,100, 26,000 residents were without work in March, the lowest monthly total of the first quarter. (Link: http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.ct_newhaven_mn.htm)
- New York–New Jersey: Since rising to 9.4 percent in January, the greater New York City area’s jobless rate has begun to decline, falling to 8.1 percent in March. During that time span, the city’s employment situation has vastly improved, as 17,400 more New Yorkers were employed in March than in January. (Link: http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.ny_newyork_msa.htm)
- Southeast: Hiring increased in most of Charleston, S.C.’s private sectors from March 2012 to March 2013, including finance, information, and leisure and hospitality. Within those three sectors alone, employment rose by 2.2, 4.2, and 1.6 percent, respectively. Of note, government employment also increased, by 2.9 percent. (Link: http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.sc_charleston_msa.htm)
- Southwest: Despite rising slightly in February, to 7.6 percent, Albuquerque, N.M.’s jobless rate diminished in March, declining to 7.1 percent. In all, 28,200 residents were unemployed, a decrease of 2,000, in comparison to February, while 368,500 were employed, either part-time or full-time. (Link: http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.nm_albuquerque_msa.htm)
- West: The greater Los Angeles area’s CPI-U and CPI-W each increased by 1.3 percent from March 2012 to March 2013. (Link: http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.ca_losangeles_md.htm)