Jobless rates fell in most U.S. metro areas in July compared to the same month a year ago, according to the latest figures

Jobless rates fell in most U.S. metro areas in July compared to the same month a year ago, according to the latest figures released today from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Unemployment fell in 69 percent of the 372 metros tracked by the BLS. A quarter of metros saw their jobless rates rise year-over-year, while rates remained the same in about 6 percent. The national, nonseasonally-adjusted unemployment rate last month was 9.3 percent, unchanged from June, though up from 8.7 percent in May.

Nearly a third (31 percent) of the tracked metros had unemployment rates of at least 10 percent, while 17 percent had rates below 7 percent.

Midwestern states continued to post the lowest unemployment rates in July. Of the 10 metros with rates below 5 percent, nearly all were in that region. Bismarck and Fargo in North Dakota led with rates at 3 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.

Top 10 Lowest Metro Unemployment Rates

Rank Metropolitan Area Rate (%)
  United States 9.3
     
1 Bismarck, N.D.  3
2 Fargo, N.D.-Minn. 3.7
3 Lincoln, Neb.  3.8
4 Sioux Falls, S.D.  4.2
5 Rapid City, S.D. 4.3
6 Grand Forks, N.D.-Minn. 4.7
6 Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.-Iowa 4.7
6 Portsmouth, N.H.-Maine 4.7
9 Burlington-South Burlington, Vt. 4.8
10 Iowa City, Iowa 4.9

Source: BLS. Data not seasonally adjusted.

California continued to dominate among metros with the highest unemployment rates, accounting for nine of the top 10. El Centro, Calif., posted a whopping 30.8 percent jobless rate in July, the highest in the nation.

Top 10 Highest Metro Unemployment Rates

Rank Metropolitan Area Rate (%)
  United States 9.3
     
372 El Centro, Calif. 30.8
371 Yuma, Ariz. 30
369 Merced, Calif. 18.7
369 Yuba City, Calif. 18.7
367 Modesto, Calif. 17.5
367 Stockton, Calif. 17.5
366 Fresno, Calif. 16.7
365 Visalia-Porterville, Calif. 16.6
364 Hanford-Corcoran, Calif. 16.1
363 Bakersfield-Delano, Calif. 15.5

Source: BLS. Data not seasonally adjusted.

Michigan and Indiana accounted for half of the 10 metros to see the biggest year-over-year decreases in unemployment in July. Rockford, Ill., posted the biggest drop, 3.3 percent, to a rate of 12.1 percent. Eight out of the 10 metros to see the biggest improvements still had rates higher than the national rate in July.

Top 10 Metros with Highest Percentage Drops in Unemployment Rate (July 2011 vs. July 2010)

    July 2010
July 2011 (preliminary)  
Rank Metropolitan Area Rate Rate Change
  United States 9.7 9.3 -0.4
         
1 Rockford, Ill. 15.4 12.1 -3.3
2 Steubenville-Weirton, Ohio-W.Va. 13.5 10.5 -3
3 Farmington, N.M. 10.6 7.8 -2.8
3 Muskegon-Norton Shores, Mich. 14 11.2 -2.8
5 Holland-Grand Haven, Minn. 11.6 9 -2.6
5 Jackson, Mich. 13.6 11 -2.6
7 Monroe, Minn. 13.6 11.1 -2.5
8 Elkhart-Goshen, Ind. 13 10.6 -2.4
9 Kokomo, Ind. 12 9.7 -2.3
10 Kalamazoo-Portage, Mich. 11.7 9.5 -2.2

Source: BLS. Data not seasonally adjusted.

Of the 10 metro areas to see the biggest jumps in unemployment in July, all were in the South: six in Alabama, three in Texas, and one in Mississippi. Pascagoula, Miss., saw the biggest increase from July 2010, 1.9 percent, to a rate of 11.2 percent.

Top 10 Metros with Highest Percentage Gains in Unemployment Rate (July 2011 vs. July 2010)

    Jul-10 July 2011p  
Rank Metropolitan Area Rate Rate Change
  United States 9.7 9.3 -0.4
         
372 Pascagoula, Miss. 9.3 11.2 1.9
369 Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas 11.3 12.7 1.4
369 Mobile, Ala. 9.8 11.2 1.4
369 Tuscaloosa, Ala. 8.9 10.3 1.4
368 Gadsden, Ala. 9.3 10.5 1.2
364 Dothan, Ala. 8.3 9.3 1
364 El Paso, Texas 9.9 10.9 1
364 Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, Texas 7.8 8.8 1
364 Montgomery, Ala. 9 10 1
363 Huntsville, Ala. 7.5 8.4 0.9

Source: BLS. Data not seasonally adjusted.

Among states, Nevada continued to post the highest unemployment rate at 12.9 percent, followed by California at 12 percent. North Dakota posted the lowest rate, 3.3 percent, followed by Nebraska, 4.1 percent.

State Unemployment Rates (lowest to highest)

Rank State Rate(%)
1 NORTH DAKOTA 3.3
2 NEBRASKA 4.1
3 SOUTH DAKOTA 4.7
4 NEW HAMPSHIRE 5.2
5 OKLAHOMA 5.5
6 VERMONT 5.7
7 WYOMING 5.8
8 IOWA 6
9 HAWAII 6.1
9 VIRGINIA 6.1
11 KANSAS 6.5
12 NEW MEXICO 6.7
13 MARYLAND 7.2
13 MINNESOTA 7.2
15 UTAH 7.5
16 LOUISIANA 7.6
16 MASSACHUSETTS 7.6
18 ALASKA 7.7
18 MAINE 7.7
18 MONTANA 7.7
21 PENNSYLVANIA 7.8
21 WISCONSIN 7.8
23 NEW YORK 8
24 DELAWARE 8.1
24 WEST VIRGINIA 8.1
26 ARKANSAS 8.2
27 TEXAS 8.4
28 COLORADO 8.5
28 INDIANA 8.5
30 MISSOURI 8.7
31 OHIO 9
32 CONNECTICUT 9.1
33 WASHINGTON 9.3
34 ARIZONA 9.4
34 IDAHO 9.4
36 ILLINOIS 9.5
36 KENTUCKY 9.5
36 NEW JERSEY 9.5
36 OREGON 9.5
40 TENNESSEE 9.8
41 ALABAMA 10
42 GEORGIA 10.1
42 NORTH CAROLINA 10.1
44 MISSISSIPPI 10.4
45 FLORIDA 10.7
46 WASHINGTON, D.C. 10.8
46 RHODE ISLAND 10.8
48 MICHIGAN 10.9
48 SOUTH CAROLINA 10.9
50 CALIFORNIA 12
51 NEVADA 12.9

Source: BLS. Data seasonally adjusted.

 

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