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Oct. jobless rates down over the year in 281 of 372 metro areas; payroll jobs up in 233

METROPOLITAN AREA EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT -- OCTOBER 2011


Unemployment rates were lower in October than a year earlier in 281 of the 372 
metropolitan areas, higher in 76 areas, and unchanged in 15 areas, the U.S. Bureau 
of Labor Statistics reported today. Eight areas recorded jobless rates of at least 
15.0 percent, while 21 areas registered rates of less than 5.0 percent. Two hundred 
thirty-three metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll
employment, 133 reported decreases, and 6 had no change. The national unemployment 
rate in October was 8.5 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 9.0 percent a 
year earlier.

Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In October, 74 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent, 
down from 98 areas a year earlier, while 106 areas posted rates below 7.0 percent, 
up from 80 areas in October 2010. El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., recorded the 
highest unemployment rates in October 2011, 28.9 and 26.3 percent, respectively. The
remaining six areas with jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent were located in 
California. Bismarck, N.D., registered the lowest unemployment rate, 2.4 percent. 
The areas with the next lowest rates were Fargo, N.D.-Minn., and Lincoln, Neb., 3.1
and 3.4 percent, respectively. A total of 223 areas recorded October unemployment 
rates below the U.S. figure of 8.5 percent, 141 areas reported rates above it, and 8
areas had rates equal to that of the nation. (See table 1.)

The largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in October was registered in 
Muskegon-Norton Shores, Mich. (-2.6 percentage points), followed by El Centro, 
Calif.; Farmington, N.M.; Flint, Mich.; and Jackson, Mich. (-2.5 points each). Ten 
other areas recorded rate declines of 2.0 percentage points or more, and an 
additional 68 areas had decreases of at least a full point. Kennewick-Pasco-Richland,
Wash., reported the largest over-the-year jobless rate increase (+1.7 percentage points).
Three other areas had increases of 1.0 percentage point or more from a year earlier.

In the 49 metropolitan areas with a Census 2000 population of 1 million or more, the 
highest unemployment rates in October were registered in Riverside-San 
Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., and Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., 13.3 and 13.1 percent, 
respectively. Eight additional large areas posted rates of 10.0 percent or more. The 
lowest jobless rate among the large areas was recorded in Minneapolis-St. 
Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis., 5.4 percent. Forty-two of the large areas reported 
over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, while four areas registered rate 
increases and three had no change. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla., 
experienced the largest unemployment rate decrease from October 2010 
(-1.8 percentage points). Eleven other large areas reported rate decreases of at 
least 1.0 percentage point. The large area with the largest over-the-year jobless 
rate increase was Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. (+0.7 percentage point).

Metropolitan Division Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Eleven of the most populous metropolitan areas are made up of 34 metropolitan 
divisions, which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers. In 
October 2011, Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich., registered the highest jobless rate 
among the divisions, 12.1 percent. Nashua, N.H.-Mass., reported the lowest division 
rate, 5.1 percent. (See table 2.)

Thirty of the metropolitan divisions recorded over-the-year jobless rate decreases 
in October, while four divisions registered increases. Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, 
Fla., posted the largest rate decline from a year earlier (-2.4 percentage points). 
Nine additional divisions reported rate decreases of 1.0 percentage point or more. 
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill., experienced the largest unemployment rate increase 
from a year earlier (+0.9 percentage point).

In 5 of the 11 metropolitan areas that contain divisions, the ranges between the 
highest and lowest division jobless rates were 2.0 percentage points or more in 
October. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H., recorded the largest rate difference 
among its divisions, 5.9 percentage points (Lawrence-Methuen-Salem, Mass.-N.H., 11.0
percent, compared with Nashua, N.H.-Mass., 5.1 percent).

Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In October, 233 metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm 
payroll employment, 133 reported decreases, and 6 had no change. The largest 
over-the-year employment increase occurred in Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas 
(+79,500), followed by Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+48,800), 
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H. (+47,000), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana,
Calif. (+39,400). The largest over-the-year percentage gain in employment was 
reported in Kankakee-Bradley, Ill. (+6.5 percent), followed by Hot Springs, Ark. 
(+6.2 percent), and Victoria, Texas (+5.5 percent). (See table 3.)

The largest over-the-year decreases in employment occurred in Atlanta-Sandy 
Springs-Marietta, Ga. (-22,100), Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C. 
(-6,700), and Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind. (-5,300). The largest over-the-year 
percentage decreases in employment were reported in Missoula, Mont. (-5.4 percent),
Abilene, Texas (-5.2 percent), and Dalton, Ga. (-4.7 percent).

Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in 29 of the 36 metropolitan areas with 
annual average employment levels above 750,000 in 2010. The largest over-the-year 
percentage increases in employment in these large metropolitan areas were posted in 
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. (+3.2 percent), Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, 
Texas (+3.1 percent), and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. (+2.3 percent). The largest
over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Atlanta-Sandy 
Springs-Marietta, Ga. (-1.0 percent), Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind. (-0.6 percent), and 
Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio and Columbus, Ohio (-0.3 percent each).

Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Nonfarm payroll employment data were available in October 2011 for 32 metropolitan 
divisions, which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers within a
metropolitan area. Twenty-five of the 32 metropolitan divisions reported 
over-the-year employment gains, while 7 reported losses. The largest over-the-year 
increases in the metropolitan divisions occurred in Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.
(+36,300), Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+32,400), and Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass. 
(+30,400). The largest over-the-year decreases in the metropolitan divisions were in 
Edison-New Brunswick, N.J. (-13,200), Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y. (-11,300), and 
Wilmington, Del.-Md.-N.J. (-4,700). (See table 4.)

The largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment among the metropolitan 
divisions was reported in Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, Mass.-N.H. (+3.0 percent), 
followed by Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (+2.6 percent), and 
Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Mass. (+2.5 percent). The largest over-the-year 
percentage decrease in employment was in Wilmington, Del.-Md.-N.J. (-1.4 percent),
followed by Edison-New Brunswick, N.J. and Gary, Ind. (-1.3 percent each), and 
Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y. (-0.9 percent).

____________
The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news release for November is 
scheduled to be released on Tuesday, December 20, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. (EST). The 
Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for November is scheduled 
to be released on Wednesday, January 4, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. (EST).



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