As has been the case throughout 2012, joblessness continued to decline within a majority of the United States’ metropolitan areas in July, according to the BLS’ latest “Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment” report. Released to the national public on August 29th, the report revealed that unemployment was lower in 305 of the nation’s 372 metro areas in July, when compared to July 2011’s data.
However, the nation also recorded its highest unemployment rate of the year in July, at 8.3 percent. Consequently, the BLS found that joblessness rose on a year-to-year basis in 52 areas that month, the highest total of 2012.
Nonetheless, 94 areas’ jobless rates were still lower than seven percent in July, including Bismarck, N.D., which recorded the nation’s lowest unemployment rate – 2.5 percent. Even so, unemployment still remained well above the national average in cities like Yuma, Ariz., and El Centro, Calif. At 31.2 and 29.9 percent, respectively, the cities’ jobless rates were the nation’s highest once again, just as they have been throughout 2012.
The following statistics regarding regional employment and inflation will provide a clearer perspective of America’s present economic situation.
- Mid–Atlantic: The District of Columbia’s unemployment rate fell for the fourth consecutive month in July, dropping to 8.9 percent. As of late July, 31,600 residents were without work, the lowest total of 2012. (Link)
- Midwest: During the month of July, Gary, Ind.’s jobless rate rose to 9.1 percent, the highest rate recorded since March. 325,500 residents were members of the civilian labor force; of those residents, 29,500 were still searching for employment. (Link)
- Mountain-Plains: From July 2011 to July 2012, hiring increased within a majority of Grand Junction, Colo.’s sectors, including finance, government, and information. Within those three sectors alone, employment rose by 3.4, 6.6, and 12.5 percent, respectively. (Link)
- New England: For the third straight month, the greater Lewiston, Maine area’s jobless rate augmented on a month-to-month basis, rising to 7.9 percent in July. The rate was still lower than it had been this winter though. As recently as March, 8.2 percent of the population was unemployed. (Link)
- New York–New Jersey: At 9.5 percent, the greater New York City area’s unemployment rate remained unchanged for the second successive month in July. Since April, the rate has steadily risen; back then, it was measured at 8.4 percent, its lowest level in 2012. (Link)
- Southeast: Employment within Ocala, Fla.’s finance, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing sectors increased by 2.4, 4.9, and 1.5 percent, respectively, from July 2011 to July 2012. (Link)
- Southwest: Flagstaff, Ariz.’s unemployment rate rose to 8.7 percent in July, the highest rate that has been recorded since March. In all, 6,300 residents were without work, the highest monthly total since February. (Link)
- West: From July 2011 to July 2012, the greater Los Angeles area’s Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) and Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) each rose by 1.9 percent. (Link)