Jobless Rates Fall in Most Metropolitan Cities

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As expected, the United States’ metropolitan employment situation continued to improve in April, according to the BLS’ latest “Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment” report. Released on May 29th, the report revealed that, from April 2012 to April 2013, unemployment declined in 276 of the nation’s 372 metro areas.

Economists encouraged following regional reports

Although the decrease was not as considerable in April as it was in March, when unemployment decelerated in 306 areas, economists were encouraged by the report’s results nonetheless. In all, 48 areas’ jobless rates were lower than five percent, while only four areas’ rates were measured at 15 percent or higher.

Unsurprisingly, two of these areas were Yuma, Ariz., and El Centro, Calif., which recorded the nation’s highest unemployment rates, at 30.3 and 24 percent, respectively. Throughout 2013, these two cities’ jobless rates have consistently ranked first and second, with regards to the nation’s highest unemployment.

Fortunately, these cities’ jobless figures were the report’s only blemish. With the country’s non-seasonally adjusted national unemployment rate declining to a yearly low of 7.1 percent in April, 219 areas’ jobless rates either matched that figure, or were substantially lower. One city’s rate, Midland, Texas, remained well below the national level, measuring at three percent, the nation’s lowest unemployment rate.

Economic progress by metropolitan areas

Meanwhile, as further signs of economic progress, the BLS also published the following findings regarding regional employment and inflation.

Source: BLS

Mid–Atlantic – Maryland employment

  • After rising markedly in January, Salisbury, Maryland’s unemployment rate has steadily declined throughout the ensuing months, falling from nine percent in March to 8.5 percent in April. Since January, the city’s jobless rate has contracted by 1.4 percent, while total employment has risen by 1,500.

Midwest: Ohio employment

  • Columbus, Ohio’s jobless rate has also diminished in recent months, declining from seven percent in January to 5.7 percent in April. With regards to industrial hiring, two industries stood out: education and health services and leisure and hospitality, as employment rose by 2.3 and three percent, respectively, from April 2012 to April 2013.

Mountain-Plains – Utah employment

  • positive employment trends continued into April Salt Lake City, Utah’s positive employment trends continued in April, as 589,100 residents were employed, an increase of 10,200 since January. Consequently, the city’s labor force participation also improved, rising to 615,200, the highest monthly total of 2013.

New England – Massachusetts employment

  • The greater Boston, Massachusetts area’s latest employment figures were quite encouraging. As usual, the area’s unemployment rate remained well below the national average, as 2.4 million residents were employed in April. Civilian labor force participation rose to 2.55 million, while total unemployment declined to 144,600, the third straight month of decreases.

Tri-State Region – New York and New Jersey employment

  • 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 1.4 and 1.3 percent, respectively, from April 2012 to April 2013.

Southeast – Florida employment

  • As has been the case throughout 2013, a majority of Tallahassee, Florida sectors reported an upturn in employment in April. The most noticeable increases occurred in leisure and hospitality and manufacturing, as hiring rose by 5.9 and 3.2 percent, respectively, from April 2012 to April 2013.

Southwest – Texas employment

  • Employment was robust within most of the greater Houston, Texas area’s sectors in April, as economists expected. Some of the most substantial hiring increases were noticed in the education and health services and leisure and hospitality sectors, rising by 5.5 and 5.7 percent, respectively, from April 2012 to April 2013.

West – Washington state employment

  • The greater Seattle, Washington area’s CPI-U and CPI-W increased by 1.2 and 1.1 percent, respectively, from April 2012 to April 2013.

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