Metropolitan areas in California continue to register the highest unemployment rates in the nation, according to the latest figures released today from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Of the 13 metros with unemployment rates above 15 percent in November, 11 were in California.

That state’s El Centro continues to hold the nation’s highest unemployment rate, at 29.1 percent, and that rate remained flat from November 2009.

California has been plagued by the loss of construction and factory jobs and has the nation’s highest foreclosure rate by volume.

Metropolitan areas in California continue to register the highest unemployment rates in the nation, according to the latest figures released today from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Of the 13 metros with unemployment rates above 15 percent in November, 11 were in California.

That state’s El Centro continues to hold the nation’s highest unemployment rate, at 29.1 percent, and that rate remained flat from November 2009.

California has been plagued by the loss of construction and factory jobs and has the nation’s highest foreclosure rate by volume.

Only two of the 10 metros with the highest rates were outside of the Golden State: Yuma, Ariz. at 24.8 percent, and Palm Coast, Fla. at 16.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the nation’s unemployment rate in November was 9.3 percent, down slightly from 9.4 percent in November 2009. Figures are not seasonally adjusted.

Top 10 metro areas with the highest unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted):

Metropolitan Area Unemployment Rate (%)
El Centro, Calif. 29.1
Yuma, Ariz. 24.8
Yuba City, Calif. 19.3
Merced, Calif. 18.6
Stockton, Calif. 17.5
Modesto, Calif. 17.2
Fresno, Calif. 16.9
Visalia-Porterville, Calif. 16.8
Palm Coast, Fla. 16.6
Hanford-Corcoran, Calif. 16.4
U.S. average 9.3

Source: BLS

Unemployment rates rose year-over-year in nearly half (49 percent) of the 372 metro areas the bureau tracks. Rates fell in 45 percent of metros and remained flat in about 6 percent.

Among the states, Nevada had the highest rate, 14 percent, with the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area posting the highest rate among metros in the state, 14.3 percent.

California’s jobless rate was the second-highest nationwide (12.4 percent) followed by Florida (12.2 percent) and Michigan (11.3 percent).

North Dakota had the country’s lowest unemployment rate (3.3 percent), followed by Nebraska (4 percent), South Dakota (4.4 percent), New Hampshire (5.4 percent), Vermont (5.7 percent) and Iowa (6.2 percent).

Unemployment rates by state (highest to lowest, not seasonally adjusted):

State State unemployment rate (%) Metro area w/ highest unemployment rate in state Metro unemployment rate (%)
Nevada 14 Las Vegas-Paradise 14.3
California 12.4 El Centro 29.1
Florida 12.2 Palm Coast 16.6
Michigan 11.3 Flint 12.5
Rhode Island 11.2 Providence-Fall River-Warwick 11.1
South Carolina 10.7 Sumter 12.2
Oregon 10.5 Bend 14.3
Georgia 10.3 Dalton 13.2
Washington, D.C. 10.2 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria 6
Kentucky 9.9 Louisville-Jefferson County 9.9
North Carolina 9.9 Rocky Mount 12.8
Mississippi 9.8 Pascagoula 9.6
Idaho 9.4 Coeur d’Alene 10.8
Indiana 9.4 Elkhart-Goshen 13.3
Tennessee 9.4 Morristown 11
Arizona 9.3 Yuma 24.8
Ohio 9.3 Steubenville-Weirton 12.6
Illinois 9.2 Rockford 13.7
Missouri 9.2 St. Louis 9.5
Washington 9.1 Longview 11.9
New Jersey 9 Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton 12.6
Alabama 9 Mobile 10.1
West Virginia 8.8 Wheeling 9.2
Colorado 8.7 Pueblo 10.3
Connecticut 8.5 Waterbury 11.3
Texas 8.3 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 12
Delaware 8.2 Dover 8.2
New Mexico 8.2 Farmington 8.8
New York 8.2 New York City 9
Massachusetts 8.1 New Bedford 11.6
Pennsylvania 8.1 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 9.1
Alaska 7.9 Anchorage 7
Louisiana 7.7 Monroe 8.2
Arkansas 7.4 Pine Bluff 9.3
Maine 7.4 Lewiston-Auburn 7.5
Maryland 7.4 Hagerstown-Martinsburg 9.9
Utah 7.2 St. George 9.4
Montana 7.1 Missoula 7.1
Wisconsin 7.1 Janesville 9.4
Kansas 6.7 Wichita 8.4
Minnesota 6.6 Duluth 7.3
Oklahoma 6.6 Tulsa 7.5
Virginia 6.6 Danville 10.8
Hawaii 6.5 Honolulu 5.4
Wyoming 6.4 Cheyenne 7
Iowa 6.2 Sioux City 7.3
Vermont 5.7 Burlington-South Burlington 4.8
New Hampshire 5.4 Manchester 5.3
South Dakota 4.4 Rapid City 4.6
Nebraska 4 Omaha-Council Bluffs 4.6
North Dakota 3.3 Grand Forks 3.7

Source: BLS

Not surprisingly, of the 11 metro areas that posted unemployment rates of less than 5 percent, all of them were in those six states. Thirty-four metro areas posted rates of 6 percent or less.

Metro areas with jobless rates of 6 percent or less (not seasonally adjusted):

  Metro Area Unemployment rate (%)
1 Bismarck, N.D. 3.3
2 Lincoln, Neb. 3.5
3 Fargo, N.D. 3.5
4 Grand Forks, N.D. 3.7
5 Iowa City, Iowa 4.3
6 Ames, Iowa 4.4
7 Sioux Falls, S.D. 4.4
8 Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb. 4.6
9 Rapid City, S.D. 4.6
10 Portsmouth, N.H. 4.8
11 Burlington-South Burlington, Vt. 4.8
12 Logan, Utah 5
13 Madison, Wis. 5
14 Manhattan, Kan. 5.2
15 Rochester, Minn. 5.2
16 Billings, Mont. 5.2
17 Rochester-Dover, N.H. 5.2
18 Mankato-North Mankato, Minn. 5.3
19 Manchester, N.H. 5.3
20 Midland, Texas 5.3
21 Honolulu 5.4
22 Charlottesville, Va. 5.4
23 La Crosse, Wis. 5.4
24 Ithaca, N.Y. 5.5
25 State College, Pa. 5.5
26 Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, La. 5.7
27 Amarillo, Texas 5.7
28 Morgantown, W.Va. 5.8
29 Eau Claire, Wis. 5.8
30 Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark. 5.9
31 Washington, D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria, Va. 6
32 Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa 6
33 Lawrence, Kan. 6
34 Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, Maine 6

Source: BLS

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