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The following is the text of the U.S. metropolitan area employment report for Dec. released by the Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) News Release
Unemployment rates were lower in December than a year earlier in 290 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 68 areas, and unchanged in 14 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Seven areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, while 33 areas registered rates of less than 5.0 percent. Two hundred eighty-three metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 83 reported decreases, and 6 had no change. The national unemployment rate in December was 7.6 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 8.3 percent a year earlier.
Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In December, 47 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent, down from 70 areas a year earlier, while 158 areas posted rates below 7.0 percent, up from 122 areas in December 2011. Yuma, Ariz., and El Centro, Calif., recorded the highest unemployment rates in December 2012, at 27.3 and 25.5 percent, respectively. Midland, Texas, registered the lowest unemployment rate, 3.1 percent. A total of 204 areas recorded December unemployment rates below the U.S. figure of 7.6 percent, 154 areas reported rates above it, and 14 areas had rates equal to that of the nation. (See table 1.)
The largest over-the-year unemployment rate decline in December was registered in Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev. (-3.3 percentage points). Fourteen additional areas had decreases of 2.0 percentage points or more. Yuma, Ariz., reported the largest over-the-year jobless rate increase (+1.9 percentage points). Four additional areas had increases of more than 1.0 percentage point from a year earlier.
Among the 49 metropolitan areas with a Census 2000 population of 1 million or more, the highest unemployment rate in December was registered in Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., 10.9 percent. The lowest jobless rate among the large areas was recorded in Oklahoma City, Okla., 4.6 percent. Thirty-nine large areas reported over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, nine registered increases, and one had no change. Las Vegas- Paradise, Nev., experienced the largest unemployment rate decline from December 2011 (-3.3 percentage points). The next largest rate declines occurred in Tampa-St. Petersburg- Clearwater, Fla. (-2.2 percentage points), and Orlando- Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. (-2.0 points). Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y., and Pittsburgh, Pa., recorded the largest over-the-year unemployment rate increases (+0.6 percentage point each).
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 December 2012, Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich., registered the highest jobless rate among the divisions, 11.4 percent. Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Md., reported the lowest division rate, 5.0 percent. (See table 2.)
Eighteen of the metropolitan divisions recorded over-the-year jobless rate decreases in December, while 15 registered increases and 1 had no change. Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, Fla., and West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, Fla., posted the largest rate declines from a year earlier (-1.8 percentage points each). Seven additional divisions had decreases of more than 1.0 percentage point. Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich., and Gary, Ind., reported the largest over-the-year unemployment rate increases(+0.7 percentage point each).
In 7 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 December. Boston- Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H., recorded the largest rate difference among its divisions, 5.8 percentage points (Lawrence- Methuen-Salem, Mass.-N.H., 10.9 percent, compared with Framingham, Mass., 5.1 percent).
Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In December, 283 metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 83 reported decreases, and 6 had no change. The largest over-the-year employment increase occurred in New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. (+118,700), followed by Houston-Sugar Land- Baytown, Texas (+84,500), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif. (+83,200). The largest over-the-year percentage gain in employment was reported in Lafayette, La. (+8.6 percent), followed by Elkhart- Goshen, Ind. (+7.0 percent), and Pascagoula, Miss. (+6.7 percent). (See table 3.)
The largest over-the-year decrease in employment occurred in Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas (-4,400), followed by Peoria, Ill. (-3,000), and Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark. (-2,600). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment was reported in Danville, Ill. (-3.7 percent), followed by Decatur, Ill. (- 3.6 percent), and Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas, and Las Cruces, N.M. (-3.4 percent each).
Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in all 37 metropolitan areas with annual average employment levels above 750,000 in 2011. The largest over-the-year percentage increases in employment in these large metropolitan areas were posted in Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas (+4.3 percent), and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+3.2 percent).
Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
Nonfarm payroll employment data were available in December 2012 for 32 metropolitan divisions, which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers within a metropolitan area. Twenty-nine of the 32 metropolitan divisions reported over-the-year employment gains and 3 reported losses. The largest over-the-year increases in employment within the metropolitan divisions occurred in New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. (+92,600), Los Angeles-Long Beach- Glendale, Calif. (+69,500), and Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+51,400). The largest over-the-year decreases in employment within the metropolitan divisions were in Gary, Ind. (-6,500), and Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla. (- 3,700). (See table 4.)
The largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment among the metropolitan divisions was reported in San Francisco- San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif. (+3.4 percent), followed by Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+3.2 percent), and Peabody, Mass. (+3.1 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment occurred in Gary, Ind. (-2.4 percent).
The Regional and State Unemployment 2012 Annual Averages news release is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 1, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. (EST). The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news release for January 2013 is scheduled to be released on Monday, March 18, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for January 2013 is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 22, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).