METROPOLITAN AREA EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT -- MARCH 2016
Unemployment rates were lower in March than a year earlier in 270 of the 387
metropolitan areas, higher in 98 areas, and unchanged in 19 areas, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Ten areas had jobless rates of
less than 3.0 percent and 11 areas had rates of at least 10.0 percent.
Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 332 metropolitan areas,
decreased in 51 areas, and was unchanged in 4 areas. The national unemployment
rate in March was 5.1 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 5.6 percent
a year earlier.
Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
Ames, Iowa, and Sioux Falls, S.D., had the lowest unemployment rates in
March, 2.4 percent each. El Centro, Calif., had the highest unemployment
rate, 18.6 percent. A total of 195 areas had March jobless rates below the
U.S. rate of 5.1 percent, 181 areas had rates above it, and 11 areas had
rates equal to that of the nation. (See table 1.)
El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., had the largest over-the-year unemployment
rate decreases in March (-4.1 percentage points each). Three other areas had
rate declines of at least 2.0 percentage points. The largest over-the-year
rate increase occurred in Casper, Wyo. (+2.6 percentage points), followed by
Odessa, Texas (+2.2 points).
Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more,
Austin-Round Rock, Texas, had the lowest unemployment rate in March, 3.1 percent.
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., had the highest rate among the large
areas, 6.6 percent. Thirty-six large areas had over-the-year unemployment rate
decreases, 11 had increases, and 4 had no change. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim,
Calif., and Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark., had the largest rate decreases (-1.7 percentage
points each). The largest over-the-year rate increases occurred in Chicago-
Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas
(+0.6 percentage point each).
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
March, San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, Calif., and San Rafael,
Calif., had the lowest unemployment rates among the divisions, 3.2 percent each.
Gary, Ind., had the highest division rate, 7.5 percent. (See table 2.)
In March, 33 metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases
and 5 had increases. The largest decline occurred in Los Angeles-Long Beach-
Glendale, Calif. (-2.1 percentage points). The largest over-the-year rate increase
occurred in Elgin, Ill. (+0.8 percentage point).
Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In March, 332 metropolitan areas had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll
employment, 51 had decreases, and 4 had no change. The largest over-the-year
employment increases occurred in New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. (+193,200),
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif. (+145,300), and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington,
Texas (+129,900). The largest over-the-year percentage gain in employment occurred
in Ocean City, N.J. (+9.5 percent), followed by Madera, Calif. (+7.5 percent), and
St. George, Utah (+6.2 percent). (See table 3.)
The largest over-the-year decreases in employment occurred in Lafayette, La.
(-9,300), Houma-Thibodaux, La. (-6,500), and Odessa, Texas (-4,100). The largest
over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Casper, Wyo. (-7.2 percent),
Houma-Thibodaux, La. (-6.6 percent), and Odessa, Texas (-5.3 percent).
Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in 50 of the 51 metropolitan areas with a
2010 Census population of 1 million or more and fell in Rochester, N.Y. (-0.5 percent).
The largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment in these large
metropolitan areas occurred in Richmond, Va. (+4.5 percent), followed by Orlando-
Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. (+4.3 percent), and Austin-Round Rock, Texas (+4.1 percent).
Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
In March, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 37 of the 38 metropolitan
divisions over the year and was unchanged in Lynn-Saugus-Marblehead, Mass. The
largest over-the-year increase in employment among the metropolitan divisions
occurred in New York-Jersey City-White Plains, N.Y.-N.J. (+154,800), followed by
Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+112,600), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.
(+97,700). (See table 4.)
The largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment among the metropolitan
divisions occurred in Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury Town, Mass.-N.H. (+5.3 percent),
followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+4.8 percent), and Brockton-Bridgewater-
Easton, Mass. (+4.3 percent).
The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news release for April
is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 20, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).
The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for April
is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).