Jobless rates were lower in August than a year earlier in 340 of the 388 metropolitan areas, higher in 35, and unchanged in 13. Nonfarm payroll employment was up in 60 metropolitan areas over the year and essentially unchanged in 328.
METROPOLITAN AREA EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT — AUGUST 2018
Unemployment rates were lower in August than a year earlier in 340 of the 388 metropolitan
areas, higher in 35 areas, and unchanged in 13 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Fifty-seven areas had jobless rates of less than 3.0 percent and two
areas had rates of at least 10.0 percent. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the
year in 60 metropolitan areas and was essentially unchanged in 328 areas. The national
unemployment rate in August was 3.9 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 4.5
percent a year earlier.
Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In August, Ames, IA, had the lowest unemployment rate, 1.7 percent. Yuma, AZ, and El
Centro, CA, had the highest unemployment rates, 22.0 percent and 20.3 percent,
respectively. A total of 189 areas had August jobless rates above the U.S. rate of
3.9 percent, 186 areas had rates below it, and 13 areas had rates equal to that of the
nation. (See table 1.)
The largest over-the-year unemployment rate decreases occurred in Bay City, MI, and
Muskegon, MI (-2.0 percentage points each). Seventy-five additional areas had rate
declines of at least 1.0 percentage point. Colorado Springs, CO, had the largest over-
the-year rate increase in August (+0.9 percentage point).
Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more,
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI, had the lowest unemployment rate in August,
2.5 percent. New Orleans-Metairie, LA, had the highest jobless rate among the large
areas, 5.3 percent, closely followed by Cleveland-Elyria, OH, 5.2 percent. Forty-six
large areas had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases and five had increases. The
largest rate decrease occurred in Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (-1.4 percentage
points). The largest over-the-year rate increase was in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
(+0.6 percentage point).
Metropolitan Division Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
Eleven of the most populous metropolitan areas are made up of 38 metropolitan divisions,
which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers. In August, San
Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA, had the lowest unemployment rate
among the divisions, 2.3 percent, closely followed by San Rafael, CA, 2.4 percent.
Philadelphia, PA, had the highest division rate, 5.5 percent. (See table 2.)
In August, 35 metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, 1
had an increase, and 2 had no change. The largest rate decline occurred in Chicago-
Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL (-1.8 percentage points). The lone over-the-year rate
increase was marginal (+0.1 percentage point in Nashua, NH-MA).
Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In August, 60 metropolitan areas had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll
employment and 328 were essentially unchanged. The largest over-the-year employment
increases occurred in New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (+136,100), Dallas-Fort
Worth-Arlington, TX (+114,900), and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX (+110,200).
The largest over-the-year percentage gains in employment occurred in Midland, TX
(+9.2 percent), Manhattan, KS (+8.2 percent), and Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ (+6.9
percent). (See table 3.)
Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in 37 of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010
Census population of 1 million or more, while employment remained essentially unchanged
in 14. The largest over-the-year percentage increases in employment in these large
metropolitan areas occurred in Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL (+4.1 percent), Seattle-
Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (+3.9 percent), and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX, and Las
Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (+3.7 percent each).
Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In August, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 15 of the 38 metropolitan divisions
over the year and remained essentially unchanged in 23. The largest over-the-year
increase in employment among the metropolitan divisions occurred in New York-Jersey
City-White Plains, NY-NJ (+108,500), followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX (+91,500),
and Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA (+67,000). (See table 4.)
The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in Seattle-Bellevue-Everett,
WA (+4.0 percent), followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX (+3.6 percent), and Tacoma-
Lakewood, WA (+3.4 percent).
- Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment Technical Note
- Table 1. Civilian labor force and unemployment by state and metropolitan area
- Table 2. Civilian labor force and unemployment by state, selected metropolitan area, and metropolitan division (1)
- Table 3. Employees on nonfarm payrolls by state and metropolitan area
- Table 4. Employees on nonfarm payrolls by state, selected metropolitan area, and metropolitan division