BY: Adam Gavriel

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on August’s employment numbers in metropolitan areas of the United States. The studies showed that unemployment rates were lower in August than a year earlier in 262 of the 372 metropolitan areas. On the other hand the numbers were higher in 84 areas and unchanged in 26. Continuing with extreme ends of the spectrum, nine areas recorded jobless rates over 15% while only 10 areas registered rates of lower than 5%.

El Centro, California and Yuma, Arizona recorded the highest unemployment rates this past August showing shocking numbers of 32.4 percent and 29.4 percent. As for the rest of the remaining 7 areas reporting jobless rates over 15% they were all located in California.

Keeping up with the Midwest’s seemingly glowing numbers in terms of some of the lowest unemployment rates we’ve seen in the Nation’s history, Bismarck, ND recorded the lowest unemployment rate featuring a number hovering around 3%. The areas with the next lowest unemployment rates were also in the Midwest located in Nebraska, North Dakota, and Minnesota.

Two-hundred seventeen areas were lucky enough to record a number lower than the 9.1% that the nation featured for the second straight month in August.

The largest positive change in unemployment (a decrease) over the year occurred in Farmington, NM where the unemployment rate dropped 3 percentage points. Only an additionally 81 areas recorded a decreased rate. However only 4 areas had a growth in unemployment totaling over 1 percentage point, Pascagoula, Mississippi led the way with an increase of 1.7%

The Midwest won in another category, among areas with a Census 2000 population of over 1 million Oklahoma City, OK recorded the lowest jobless rate coming in at 5%.

Other notable numbers (metropolitan area nonfarm employment):

Largest over-the-year employment increase: Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+65,000)
Largest over-the-year percentage gain: Hot Springs, Arkansas (+9.7%)
Largest over-the-year decreases in employment: Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Georgia (-30,800)
Largest over-the-year percentage loss: Abilene, Texas (-4.7 percent)

Just some quick numbers to show that unemployment remains a huge concern for the United States.

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