Regional unemployment continues to steadily decline

As anticipated, unemployment continued to steadily decline within a majority of the United States’ metro areas in August, according to the BLS’ most recent “Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment” report. Released on October 3rd, the report revealed that joblessness was lower in 325 of the nation’s 372 metro areas in August 2012 than it was in August 2011.

The BLS also discovered that 123 areas’ unemployment rates were lower than seven percent in August, an increase of 73 areas, when compared to August 2011’s statistics. One such area, Bismarck, N.D., recorded the nation’s lowest unemployment rate, at 2.6 percent. Nineteen other areas reported jobless rates of five percent or less as well.

On the other hand, 54 metro areas documented unemployment rates at or above ten percent, a decrease of 99 areas, in comparison to August 2011’s findings. Of those 54 areas, only five had recorded jobless rates above 15 percent. However, two cities’ unemployment rates remained well above 15 percent, as El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., each reported the nation’s highest jobless rate – 29.9 percent.

To provide a clearer outlook on the nation’s current economic situation, the BLS also released the following regional employment and inflation statistics.

Source: BLS

  • Mid–Atlantic: After rising in July, Richmond, Va.’s jobless rate dropped to 6.4 percent in August, a decrease of 0.3 percent. 43,400 residents remained unemployed, the lowest monthly total recorded since May. The city’s civilian labor force also diminished, declining by nearly 7,000. (Link)
  • 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) each increased from August 2011 to August 2012, rising by 1.5 and 1.2 percent, respectively. (Link)
  • Mountain-Plains: A majority of Cheyenne, Wyo.’s sectors reported year-to-year hiring increases in August, including finance and leisure and hospitality. Within those two sectors alone, hiring rose by 4.5 and 4.3 percent, respectively, from August 2011 to August 2012. (Link)
  • New England: From August 2011 to August 2012, employment rose considerably within New Bedford, Mass.’s information, education and health services, and professional and business sectors, increasing by 16.7, 9.4, and 7.1 percent, respectively. (Link)
  • New York–New Jersey: The greater New York City area’s CPI-U and CPI-W augmented by 1.4 and 1.5 percent, respectively, from August 2011 to August 2012. (Link)
  • Southeast: For the first month since April, the greater Atlanta, Ga., area’s jobless rate declined on a month-to-month basis in August, falling to 8.9 percent. 241,000 residents were unemployed, a decrease of roughly 11,000. 2.72 million citizens were members of the civilian labor force, a drop of nearly 24,000, in comparison to July’s figures. (Link)
  • Southwest: Following three consecutive months of increases, Farmington, N.M.’s unemployment rate declined by a full percentage point in August, falling to 6.8 percent. 49,800 residents were employed on a full-time or part-time basis, while 3,600 citizens were actively seeking employment. (Link)
  • West: The greater Seattle, Wash., area’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.5 percent in August, dropping to 7.6 percent. Prior to the reduction, the area’s rate had not declined on a month-to-month basis since April. The rate has fluctuated between 6.4 and 8.1 percent since March.  (Link)


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