U.S. Employment Trends

U.S. Sept. Jobless Rates Down over the Year in 345 of 388 Metro Areas

Jobless rates were lower in September than a year earlier in 345 of the 388 metropolitan areas, higher in 33, and unchanged in 10. Nonfarm payroll employment was up in 309 metropolitan areas over the year, down in 72, and unchanged in 7.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

METROPOLITAN AREA EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT -- SEPTEMBER 2017


Unemployment rates were lower in September than a year earlier in 345 of the 388 
metropolitan areas, higher in 33 areas, and unchanged in 10 areas, the U.S. Bureau of 
Labor Statistics reported today. Sixty-four 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 309 metropolitan areas, decreased in 72 areas, and was 
unchanged in 7 areas. The national unemployment rate in September was 4.1 percent, not 
seasonally adjusted, down from 4.8 percent a year earlier.

Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In September, Fargo, ND-MN, had the lowest unemployment rate, 1.8 percent, closely 
followed by Bismarck, ND; Boulder, CO; and Fort Collins, CO, 1.9 percent each. El Centro, 
CA, and Yuma, AZ, had the highest unemployment rates, 22.6 percent and 19.9 percent, 
respectively. A total of 210 areas had September jobless rates below the U.S. rate of 
4.1 percent, 168 areas had rates above it, and 10 areas had rates equal to that of the 
nation. (See table 1.)

 ____________________________________________________________________________________
|                                                                                    |
|                       Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria                           |
|                                                                                    |
|   Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas prior to the September 2017 reference    |
|   period for both the establishment and household surveys. Hurricane Irma made     |
|   landfall in Florida during the reference period for both surveys. However,       |
|   for both surveys, data collection rates generally were within normal ranges,     |
|   both nationally and in the affected states. Therefore, no changes were made      |
|   to the estimation procedures for September.				             |
|										     |
|   In the establishment survey, employees who are not paid for the pay period       |
|   that includes the 12th of the month are not counted as employed. In the 	     |
|   household survey, persons with a job are counted as employed even if they miss   |
|   work for the entire survey reference week (the week including the 12th of the    |
|   month), regardless of whether or not they are paid. For a general discussion     |
|   of how unusually severe weather can affect the estimates, see the Frequently     |
|   Asked Questions section of the Employment Situation news release at 	     |
|   www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.faq.htm.					     |
|										     |
|   Due to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Puerto Rico was not able to conduct normal     |
|   data collection for either its household or establishment surveys for September. | 
|   Likewise, the U.S. Virgin Islands was not able to administer its establishment   |
|   survey for September. National estimates do not include Puerto Rico or the U.S.  |
|   Virgin Islands.								     |
|										     |
|   More information on the effects of the recent hurricanes on BLS data collection  |
|   and reporting can be found at www.bls.gov/bls/hurricanes-harvey-irma-maria.htm.  |
|____________________________________________________________________________________|


Mobile, AL, had the largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in September 
(-3.1 percentage points). An additional 129 areas had rate declines of at least 
1.0 percentage point. The largest over-the-year rate increase occurred in Monroe, 
MI (+1.3 percentage points).

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, 
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO, had the lowest unemployment rate in September, 2.2 
percent. Cleveland-Elyria, OH, had the highest jobless rate among the large areas, 
5.7 percent. Forty-eight large areas had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases 
and three had increases. The largest rate decrease occurred in Birmingham-Hoover, 
AL (-2.8 percentage points). The largest over-the-year rate increase was in 
Cleveland-Elyria, OH (+0.4 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 September, San 
Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA, had the lowest unemployment rate among 
the divisions, 2.8 percent. Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, MI, had the highest division rate, 
5.6 percent. (See table 2.)

In September, 25 metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, 
7 had increases, and 6 had no change. The largest rate decline occurred in West Palm 
Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, FL (-1.6 percentage points). No division had an 
over-the-year jobless rate increase greater than 0.2 percentage point.

Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In September, 309 metropolitan areas had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll 
employment, 72 had decreases, and 7 had no change. The largest over-the-year employment 
increases occurred in Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (+93,600), New York-Newark-Jersey 
City, NY-NJ-PA (+86,000), and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA (+68,300). The largest 
over-the-year percentage gains in employment occurred in Ocean City, NJ (+5.4 percent), 
and Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL, and St. George, UT (+5.3 percent each). (See table 3.)

The largest over-the-year decrease in employment occurred in Virginia Beach-Norfolk-
Newport News, VA-NC (-9,700), followed by Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL (-6,800), and 
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA (-4,600). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease 
in employment occurred in Cape Girardeau, MO-IL (-6.1 percent), followed by Cape Coral-
Fort Myers, FL (-2.7 percent), and Houma-Thibodaux, LA (-2.6 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 4. The largest over-the-year 
percentage increases in employment in these large metropolitan areas occurred in 
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN (+3.1 percent), Raleigh, NC (+2.9 percent), 
and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (+2.7 percent). The over-the-year percentage 
decreases occurred in Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC (-1.2 percent), 
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY, and Rochester, NY (-0.6 percent each), and 
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT (-0.1 percent).

Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In September, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 34 of the 38 metropolitan divisions 
over the year and fell in 4. The largest over-the-year increase in employment among the 
metropolitan divisions occurred in New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ (+77,900), 
followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX (+67,100), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA 
(+50,800). The largest over-the-year decreases occurred in Gary, IN (-3,100), Elgin, IL
(-1,900), and Newark, NJ-PA (-1,200). (See table 4.)

The largest over-the-year percentage increases occurred in Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury 
Town, MA-NH (+2.8 percent), Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX (+2.7 percent), and Boston-Cambridge-
Newton, MA, and Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (+2.6 percent each). The largest over-the-year
percentage decreases occurred in Gary, IN (-1.1 percent), and Elgin, IL (-0.7 percent). 




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