Economy Watch: Most Metros Enjoy Low Unemployment

Of the 388 U.S. metro areas, 340 had unemployment rates that were lower in July than a year earlier, according to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Ahead of the monthly employment numbers on Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a separate report on Wednesday revealing that unemployment rates were lower in July than a year earlier in 340 of the 388 U.S. metropolitan areas, higher in 39 areas, and unchanged in nine areas.

Thirty-one metros had jobless rates of less than 3 percent and three had rates of 10 percent or higher. Payroll employment increased over the year in 336 metropolitan areas, decreased in 46 areas, and was unchanged in six areas.

Market Matters

In July, Bismarck, N.D., had the lowest unemployment rate at 1.9 percent, closely followed by Fargo, N.D., at 2 percent. Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, Denver-Aurora-Lakewood had the lowest unemployment rate in July, 2.4 percent.

El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., suffered the highest unemployment rates in July, 24.2 percent and 23.8 percent, respectively. Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio, had the highest jobless rate among the large areas, at 6.6 percent.

Forty-three large areas had year-over-year unemployment rate decreases and eight had increases. The largest rate decrease occurred in Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich. (down 1.9 percentage points). The largest annual rate increase was suffered by Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio (up 1 percentage point).