U.S. Employment Trends

U.S. May Jobless Rates Down over the Year in 298 of 388 Metro Areas - Payroll Jobs Up In 304

Jobless rates were lower in May than a year earlier in 298 of the 388 metropolitan areas, higher in 66, and unchanged in 24. Nonfarm payroll employment was up in 304 metropolitan areas over the year, down in 77, and unchanged in 6.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

METROPOLITAN AREA EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT -- MAY 2017


Unemployment rates were lower in May than a year earlier in 298 of the 388 metropolitan 
areas, higher in 66 areas, and unchanged in 24 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 
304 metropolitan areas, decreased in 77 areas, and was unchanged in 6 areas. (See box note.)
The national unemployment rate in May was 4.1 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 4.5
percent a year earlier.
Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In May, Ames, Iowa; Bismarck, N.D.; and Fargo, N.D.-Minn., had the lowest unemployment 
rates, 1.9 percent each, closely followed by Fort Collins, Colo., 2.0 percent. El Centro, 
Calif., had the highest unemployment rate, 20.5 percent. A total of 194 areas had May 
jobless rates below the U.S. rate of 4.1 percent, 181 areas had rates above it, and 13 
areas had rates equal to that of the nation. (See table 1.)

Beckley, W.Va., had the largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in May (-2.4 
percentage points), followed by Casper, Wyo. (-2.3 points). Eighty-seven other areas had 
rate declines of at least 1.0 percentage point. The largest over-the-year rate increase 
occurred in Toledo, Ohio (+1.2 percentage points).

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, Denver-
Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., and Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, Tenn., had the lowest 
unemployment rates in May, 2.3 percent each. Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio, had the highest jobless 
rate among the large areas, 5.8 percent. Thirty-six large areas had over-the-year unemployment 
rate decreases, 10 had increases, and 5 had no change. The largest rate decreases occurred in 
Birmingham-Hoover, Ala.; Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis.; Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, 
Ind.; and Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash. (-1.2 percentage points each). The largest 
over-the-year rate increase was in Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio (+0.9 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 May, San Francisco-
Redwood City-South San Francisco, Calif., and San Rafael, Calif., had the lowest unemployment 
rates among the divisions, 2.6 percent each. Philadelphia, Pa., had the highest division 
rate, 6.2 percent. (See table 2.)

In May, 20 metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, 16 had 
increases, and 2 had no change. The largest rate decline occurred in Gary, Ind. (-1.9 
percentage points). The largest over-the-year rate increase occurred in Lawrence-Methuen 
Town-Salem, Mass.-N.H. (+0.6 percentage point).

Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In May, 304 metropolitan areas had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 77 had
decreases, and 6 had no change. (See box note.) The largest over-the-year employment increases occurred
in New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. (+151,500), Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+115,800),
and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. (+81,900). The largest over-the-year percentage gain in employment
occurred in State College, Pa. (+8.0 percent), followed by Sebring, Fla. (+5.8 percent), and St. George,
Utah (+5.4 percent). (See table 3.)

The largest over-the-year decreases in employment occurred in Houma-Thibodaux, La. (-4,200), Shreveport-
Bossier City, La. (-3,000), and Rochester, N.Y. (-2,700). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease
in employment occurred in Casper, Wyo. (-4.8 percent), followed by Houma-Thibodaux, La. (-4.7 percent),
and Beckley, W.Va. (-3.5 percent). 
	
Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in 47 of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population
of 1 million or more, and fell in 3. (See box note.) The largest over-the-year percentage increases in
employment in these large metropolitan areas occurred in Nashville-Davidson—Murfreesboro—Franklin, Tenn.,
and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. (+4.0 percent each), followed by Jacksonville, Fla. (+3.5 percent).
The over-the-year percentage decreases occurred in Rochester, N.Y. (-0.5 percent), New Orleans-Metairie,
La. (-0.3 percent), and Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C. (-0.1 percent). 

Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In May, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 34 of the 38 metropolitan divisions over the year, fell
in 2, and was unchanged in Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem, Mass.-N.H., and 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. (+131,100), followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+90,400), and Los Angeles-
Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (+55,700).  The over-the-year decreases in employment occurred in Newark, N.J.-Pa.
(-4,200), and Elgin, Ill. (-100). (See table 4.)

The largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment among the metropolitan divisions occurred in Fort 
Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, Fla. (+3.8 percent), followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+3.6 
percent), and Tacoma-Lakewood, Wash. (+2.7 percent). Newark, N.J.-Pa., had the only over-the-year percentage 
decline in employment (-0.3 percent).

_____________
The State Employment and Unemployment news release for June is scheduled to be released on 
Friday, July 21, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment 
news release for June is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, August 2, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. 
(EDT).





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