For the second straight month, 342 of the United States’ 372 metropolitan areas reported year-to-year unemployment rate decreases, according to the BLS’ “Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment – April 2012” report. The report also found that unemployment had risen in 25 areas and had remained unchanged in five areas from April 2011 to April 2012.
Ten of the nation’s 372 metro areas documented jobless rates of 15 percent or higher, while 32 areas recorded unemployment rates of five percent or less. And, 246 areas recorded increases in private sector employment throughout the past year, as unemployment dropped to seven percent or less in 44 percent of the country’s metro areas.
As usual, three Midwestern cities, Bismarck, N.D., Fargo, N.D.-Minn., and Lincoln, Neb., reported the country’s lowest unemployment rates in April, at 2.8, 3.3, and 3.3 percent, respectively. On the other hand, two Western cities, El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., continued to record exceedingly high unemployment rates, at 26.8 and 26 percent, respectively.
Unfortunately, despite the nation’s steady decrease in regional unemployment, inflation and joblessness still remained above-average within a majority of cities in April, according to the following statistics.
- Mid–Atlantic: After lingering at 9.8 percent from February to March, the District of Columbia’s unemployment rate dropped to 9.5 percent in April, as 33,300 individuals were without work. Roughly 394,700 residents were members of the labor force. (Link)
- Midwest: The greater Minneapolis–St. Paul, Minn., area reported a significant month-to-month decline in its unemployment rate in April. From March to April, the rate dropped by a full percentage point, falling from 6.1 to 5.1 percent. (Link)
- Mountain-Plains: Employment within the Denver metro area’s education and health services and mining, logging, and construction sectors rose from April 2011 to April 2012, by 4.6 and 4.4 percent, respectively. (Link)
- New England:The greater Providence, R.I., area’s unemployment rate remained well above the national average in April, at 10.7 percent. Nonetheless, the rate has generally fallen since January; at the beginning of the year, it was measured at 11.6 percent. (Link)
- New York–New Jersey: From April 2011 to April 2012, 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) rose by 2.4 and 2.5 percent, respectively. (Link)
- Southeast: Since November 2011, Tallahassee, Fla.’s jobless rate has steadily fallen, from 8.2 to 6.7 percent in April, 1.4 percent less than the national average. (Link)
- Southwest: At 11.8 percent, Carson City, Nev.’s unemployment rate remained well-above the national average in April. However, after rising in January, the rate has steadily declined ever since. In January, the rate was measured at 13.5 percent. (Link)
- West: On a year-to-year basis, the greater San Francisco, Calif., area’s CPI-U and CPI-W rose by 2.1 and 2.2 percent, respectively. In comparison, the measurements increased by three and 3.5 percent from February 2011 to February 2012, a sign that inflation is decreasing. (Link)