In March, 13 U.S. metropolitan areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, with El Centro, California (26.2 percent), and Yuma, Arizona (23.8 percent), recording the highest rates. Ten of the other 11 areas with jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent were located in California.
Fifty-four metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent in March, down from 116 areas a year earlier, while 109 areas posted rates below 7.0 percent, up from 62 areas a year earlier. Bismarck, North Dakota, registered the lowest unemployment rate (3.5 percent), followed by Lincoln, Nebraska, and Midland, Texas (3.7 percent each).
From March 2011 to March 2012, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 267 metropolitan areas and decreased in 96 areas, with 9 areas reporting no change. The largest over-the-year employment increase occurred in New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA (+112,500), followed by Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+82,300), Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+70,000), and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, California (+63,100).
The metropolitan area data are not seasonally adjusted and are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics and Current Employment Statistics (State and Area) programs. March 2012 data from both programs are preliminary and subject to revision. Find out more in "Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment — March 2012" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-12-0814.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Metropolitan area employment and unemployment, March 2012 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2012/ted_20120503.htm (visited September 22, 2023).