One week prior to Election Day 2012, the BLS released its latest “Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment” report, which revealed that joblessness is continuing to diminish throughout the United States.
According to the BLS, 345 of the nation’s 372 metro areas reported a decline in unemployment from September 2011 to September 2012.
The BLS also found that 171 areas’ unemployment rates were lower than seven percent in September, a rise of 92, when compared to September 2011’s figures. One such area, Bismarck, N.D., once again recorded the nation’s lowest jobless rate – 2.2 percent, a decline of 0.4 percent, in comparison to August’s data.
Only two metro areas’ unemployment rates were above 15 percent in September, the lowest monthly total of 2012. Unfortunately, these two areas’ rates were well above the national unemployment rate of 7.9 percent, as Yuma, Ariz., and El Centro, Calif., registered the nation’s highest jobless rates, 29.7 and 28.5 percent, respectively.
In the meantime, the BLS also released the following statistics concerning regional unemployment and inflation.
- Mid–Atlantic: For the second consecutive month, the greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area’s unemployment rate declined, falling from 8.8 to 8.1 percent in September. The 0.7 percent drop was the largest month-to-month decrease recorded since April. In all, 161,000 residents were without work. (Link)
- Midwest: From September 2011 to September 2012, Sandusky, Ohio’s total nonfarm employment rose by 3.6 percent, as 41,300 residents were employed on a part-time or full-time basis. 43,800 residents were members of the civilian labor force, the lowest total since May. (Link)
- Mountain-Plains: For the first month since April, Salt Lake City, Utah’s jobless rate decreased on a month-to-month basis in September, falling from 5.4 to 4.6 percent, as the total number of unemployed residents declined by approximately 3,000. (Link)
- New England: Employment continued to rise within a majority of Waterbury, Connecticut’s private sectors in September, especially leisure and hospitality and education and health services. Within those two sectors alone, hiring increased by 3.9 and 8.5 percent, respectively, from September 2011 to September 2012. (Link)
- New York–New Jersey: More than 8.6 million residents were employed in the greater New York City area in September, as unemployment dropped by roughly 65,000. The area’s jobless rate also declined, falling to 8.5 percent, a six-month low. (Link)
- Southeast: In August, Jackson, Miss.’s unemployment rate declined quite considerably, dropping from 8.2 to 6.7 percent. Therefore, economists were surprised by September’s figures, which revealed the city’s jobless rate rose to 7.4 percent, as the total number of employed residents diminished by 2,100. (Link)
- Southwest: Construction, finance, and manufacturing hiring continued to increase within the greater Phoenix, Ariz., area in September, rising by 5.2, 3.1, and 1.2 percent, respectively. Nearly 1.9 million residents were employed in September. (Link)
- West: 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 2.2 percent from September 2011 to September 2012. (Link)