What’s Unemployment Like In Your City?

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A new report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the unemployment rates in May of this year were higher in all 372 metropolitan areas than they were one year ago. The unemployment rate, which is currently 9.4 percent, was at 9.1 percent in May, up from 5.2 percent in May 2008.

The report, a Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment Summary, also showed 15 areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, while 21 areas registered rates below 5.0 percent. Among the 310 metropolitan areas for which nonfarm payroll employment were available, 295 areas recorded over-the-year declines in employment and 15 reported increases.

Other highlights include:

  • In May, 112 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent, up from 6 areas a year earlier, while 97 areas posted rates below 7.0 percent, down from 333 areas in May 2008.
  • El Centro, Calif., recorded the highest unemployment rate at 26.8 percent
  • Bismarck, N.D., registered the lowest jobless rate in May at 3.5 percent

All this information really means for you is that although job loss is moderating and the economy is headed in the right direction, we have a long way to go before the unemployment rate goes back down significantly.

But, it’s important to remember that the unemployment rate is a lagging indicator of what is going on in the economy because it can’t be measured in “real time.” So although the unemployment rate will remain high in the coming months, that doesn’t mean that the economy is worsening or that jobs aren’t being created.

Click here to see how the unemployment rate in your metropolitan area stacks up.

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