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Ames, Iowa Has the Lowest Unemployment Rate

In January, Ames, Iowa, had the lowest unemployment rate, 1.8 percent, followed by Urban Honolulu,…

  • April 7, 2018

In January, Ames, Iowa, had the lowest unemployment rate, 1.8 percent, followed by Urban Honolulu, HI, 2.0 percent. El Centro, CA, had the highest unemployment rate, 17.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

A total of 192 areas had January jobless rates below the U.S. rate of 4.5 percent, 187 areas had rates above it, and 9 areas had rates equal to that of the nation.

Rockford, IL, had the largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in January (-5.0 percentage points). An additional 118 areas had rate declines of at least 1 percentage point. The largest over-the year rate increase occurred in Fairbanks, AK (+0.5 percentage point).

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN, had the lowest unemployment rate in January, 2.8 percent.

Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY, had the highest jobless rate among the large areas, 6.2 percent. Forty-seven large areas had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, three had increases, and one had no change. The largest rate decrease occurred in Birmingham-Hoover, AL (-1.9 percentage points).

The largest over-the-year rate increase was in Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (+0.4 percentage point).

Unemployment rates were lower in January than a year earlier in 337 of the 388 metropolitan areas, higher in 39 areas, and unchanged in 12 areas.

Twenty-eight areas had jobless rates of less than 3.0 percent and four areas had rates of at least 10.0 percent.

Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 295 metropolitan areas, decreased in 78 areas, and was unchanged in 15 areas. The national unemployment rate in January was 4.5 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 5.1 percent a year earlier.

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