Jobless rates fell year-over-year in the vast majority of U.S. metro areas in April, according to the latest figures released today from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Of 372 metro areas covered by the bureau, 80 percent posted drops in unemployment compared to April 2010, while the rate rose in about 15 percent and remained the same in some 6 percent of metros. By contrast, nearly half of metros saw their rate rise in November.

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell to a non-seasonally-adjusted 8.7 percent from 9.2 percent in March and 9.5 percent in April 2010.

Indiana and Michigan saw the biggest drops in unemployment, accounting for nine out of 12 metro areas to see percentage-point declines of 3 percent or more.

Over-the-Year Change in Unemployment Rates for Metropolitan Areas
Not Seasonally Adjusted
    Apr. 2010 Apr. 2011p  
Rank Metropolitan Area Rate Rate Change
  United States 9.5 8.7 -0.8
         
1 Elkhart-Goshen, Ind. 14.1 10.1 -4
2 Muskegon-Norton Shores, Mich. 14 10.1 -3.9
3 Rockford, Ill. 15.7 11.9 -3.8
4 Kokomo, Ind. 12.8 9.3 -3.5
5 Jackson, Mich. 13 9.7 -3.3
6 Flint, Mich. 14 10.8 -3.2
6 Holland-Grand Haven, Mich. 11.3 8.1 -3.2
8 Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev. 15.1 12.1 -3
8 Michigan City-La Porte, Ind. 12.5 9.5 -3
8 Monroe, Mich. 12.5 9.5 -3
8 Niles-Benton Harbor, Mich. 12.7 9.7 -3
8 Sandusky, Ohio 11 8 -3

Source: BLS

California metros continue to post the highest unemployment rates in the nation, accounting for 9 out of the 10 markets with unemployment rates higher than 16 percent.

Unemployment Rates for Metropolitan Areas
Not Seasonally Adjusted
Apr. 2011p
Rank Metropolitan Area Rate
  United States 8.7
     
372 El Centro, Calif. 27.9
371 Yuma, Ariz. 25.3
370 Yuba City, Calif. 20.2
369 Merced, Calif. 19.5
368 Modesto, Calif. 17.5
367 Stockton, Calif. 17.3
366 Fresno, Calif. 17
365 Hanford-Corcoran, Calif. 16.6
364 Visalia-Porterville, Calif. 16.4
363 Madera-Chowchilla, Calif. 16.3

Source: BLS

North Dakota, Iowa and New Hampshire metros had the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, accounting for seven of the 11 markets with rates of 4.5 percent or lower.

Unemployment Rates for Metropolitan Areas
Not Seasonally Adjusted
Apr. 2011p
Rank Metropolitan Area Rate
  United States 8.7
     
1 Bismarck, N.D. 2.9
2 Fargo, N.D.-Minn.  3.7
3 Lincoln, Neb. 3.8
4 Portsmouth, N.H.-Maine 4.2
5 Grand Forks, N.D.-Minn.  4.3
5 Iowa City, Iowa  4.3
7 Midland, Texas 4.4
8 Ames, Iowa 4.5
8 Burlington-South Burlington, Vt. 4.5
8 Manchester, N.H.  4.5
8 Oklahoma City, Okla. 4.5

Source: BLS

Nevada had the highest unemployment rate among the states in April (12.5 percent), followed by California (11.9 percent), Rhode Island (10.9 percent), Florida (10.8 percent), and Mississippi (10.4 percent).

North Dakota had the lowest rate (3.3 percent), followed by Nebraska (4.2 percent), New Hampshire (4.9 percent), South Dakota (4.9 percent), and Vermont (5.3 percent).

Unemployment Rates for States
Seasonally Adjusted
Apr. 2011p
Rank State Rate
1 NORTH DAKOTA 3.3
2 NEBRASKA 4.2
3 NEW HAMPSHIRE 4.9
3 SOUTH DAKOTA 4.9
5 VERMONT 5.3
6 OKLAHOMA 5.6
7 IOWA 6
7 WYOMING 6
9 HAWAII 6.1
9 VIRGINIA 6.1
11 MINNESOTA 6.5
12 KANSAS 6.7
13 MARYLAND 6.8
14 ALASKA 7.3
14 MONTANA 7.3
14 WISCONSIN 7.3
17 UTAH 7.4
18 PENNSYLVANIA 7.5
19 MAINE 7.6
19 NEW MEXICO 7.6
21 ARKANSAS 7.7
22 MASSACHUSETTS 7.8
23 NEW YORK 7.9
24 TEXAS 8
25 LOUISIANA 8.1
26 DELAWARE 8.2
26 INDIANA 8.2
28 OHIO 8.6
29 ILLINOIS 8.7
30 COLORADO 8.8
30 WEST VIRGINIA 8.8
32 MISSOURI 8.9
33 CONNECTICUT 9.1
33 WASHINGTON 9.1
35 ALABAMA 9.3
35 ARIZONA 9.3
35 NEW JERSEY 9.3
38 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 9.6
38 IDAHO 9.6
38 OREGON 9.6
38 TENNESSEE 9.6
42 NORTH CAROLINA 9.7
43 SOUTH CAROLINA 9.8
44 GEORGIA 9.9
45 KENTUCKY 10
46 MICHIGAN 10.2
47 MISSISSIPPI 10.4
48 FLORIDA 10.8
49 RHODE ISLAND 10.9
50 CALIFORNIA 11.9
51 NEVADA 12.5

Source: BLS

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