Back in October, the United States’ national unemployment rate remained below eight percent for the second consecutive month, as the economy generated 171,000 new jobs – the fourth straight month in which more than 100,000 jobs were created. Therefore, the results of the BLS’ latest “Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment” report were not entirely surprising, as hiring rose within a majority of the nation’s metro areas in October.
In fact, 288 of the nation’s 372 metropolitan areas recorded an increase in nonfarm payroll employment from October 2011 to October 2012, while 329 areas’ jobless rates declined during that same time span. And, according to the report, 180 areas’ jobless rates were seven percent or lower.
As usual, Bismarck, N.D.’s unemployment rate remained well below the national average in October, at 2.2 percent – the lowest rate recorded in the United States. But, two Western cities’ jobless rates were nearly 25 percent higher, as Yuma, Ariz., reported the nation’s highest unemployment rate, 29.8 percent, while El Centro, Calif.’s jobless rate, 28.1 percent, was the country’s second highest.
The BLS also released the following statistics concerning regional unemployment and inflation, which revealed that economic progress is occurring throughout the United States.
- Mid–Atlantic: Unemployment continued to drop within Morgantown, W.Va., in October, as the city’s jobless rate was measured at 4.6 percent, a 0.5 percent decrease from September’s rate. The city’s unemployment rate was as high as 5.4 percent as recently as June. (Link: http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.wv_morgantown_msa.htm)
- Midwest: Joblessness declined for the third straight month in the greater Lansing, Mich., area in October, as 14,000 residents were unemployed. Since July, the area’s jobless rate has decreased by 2.5 percent; in October, the area recorded an unemployment rate of 5.9 percent. (Link: http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.mi_lansing_msa.htm)
- Mountain-Plains: For the third consecutive month, Wichita, Kan.’s unemployment rate diminished on a month-to-month basis in October, dropping to 6.1 percent, the lowest rate of 2012. 286,400 residents were employed – the highest monthly aggregate since June. (Link: http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.ks_wichita_msa.htm)
- New England: Pittsfield, Mass.’s civilian labor force decreased slightly in October, falling to 38,600, the lowest total since May. However, the city’s jobless rate also declined, from 6.7 percent in September to 6.5 percent. In all, 2,500 residents were without work. (Link: http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.ma_pittsfield_mn.htm)
- New York–New Jersey: The greater New York City 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 1.7 percent from October 2011 to October 2012. (Link: http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.ny_newyork_msa.htm)
- Southeast: A majority of the greater Birmingham, Ala., area’s private sectors reported a rise in employment from October 2011 to October 2012. The area’s leisure and hospitality and finance sectors recorded the highest increase in hiring during that time span, as employment rose by 4.9 and 4.6 percent, respectively. (Link: http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.al_birmingham_msa.htm)
- Southwest: After rising to 7.5 percent in June, the greater Dallas, Texas, area’s unemployment rate has steadily declined, falling to 6.2 percent in October, its lowest measurement since December 2008. The civilian labor force also diminished, while the total number of employed residents continued to uptick, rising to 2.09 million. (Link: http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.tx_dallas_md.htm)
- West: The greater Seattle, Wash., area’s CPI-U and CPI-W each augmented by 2.3 percent from October 2011 to October 2012, while joblessness decreased for the third straight month. 6.7 percent of the area’s population was unemployed in October, the lowest rate since April. (http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.wa_seattle_md.htm)