U.S. Metropolitan Area Employment Report for Oct. (Text)

The following is the text of the U.S. metropolitan area employment report for Oct. released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Unemployment rates were lower in October than a year earlier in 235 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 121 areas, and unchanged in 16 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Ten areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, while 12 areas registered rates of less than 5.0 percent. The national unemployment rate in October was 9.0 percent, not seasonally adjusted, compared with 9.5 percent a year earlier. One hundred eighty-two metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 178 reported decreases, and 12 had no change.

Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In October, 102 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent, down from 129 areas a year earlier, while 78 areas posted rates be-low 7.0 percent, up from 74 areas in October 2009. El Centro, Calif., again recorded the highest unemployment rate, 29.3 percent, followed by Yuma, Ariz., 26.7 percent. Among the 10 areas with jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, 8 were located in California. Bismarck, N.D., again registered the lowest unemployment rate, 2.7 percent in October. The areas with the next lowest rates were Fargo, N.D.-Minn., and Grand Forks, N.D.-Minn., 3.2 percent each, and Lincoln, Neb., 3.8 percent. Of the 12 areas with jobless rates under 5.0 percent, 10 were located in the West North Central census division. Overall, 224 areas recorded unemployment rates below the U.S. figure of 9.0 percent, 138 areas reported rates above it, and 10 areas had rates equal to that of the nation. (See table 1.)

Elkhart-Goshen, Ind., and Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, N.C., recorded the largest over-the-year jobless rate decreases in October (-2.8 percentage points each), closely followed by Anderson, S.C., and Spartanburg, S.C. (-2.7 and -2.6 points, respectively). Thirteen additional areas reported rate decreases of at least 2.0 percentage points. Yuma, Ariz., registered the largest over-the-year unemployment rate increase (+4.1 percentage points). The metropolitan area with the next largest rate increase was Sioux City, Iowa-Neb.-S.D. (+1.8 percentage points).

Of the 49 metropolitan areas with a Census 2000 population of 1 million or more, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., and Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., registered the highest unemployment rates in October, 14.2 and 14.1 percent, respectively. Twelve additional large areas posted rates of 10.0 percent or more. The lowest jobless rate among the large areas was recorded by Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va., 5.8 percent. Thirty-three of the large areas reported over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, while 13 areas recorded rate increases and 3 had no rate change. Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich., posted the largest jobless rate decrease over the year (- 2.4 percentage points). Six other large areas recorded rate decreases of 1.0 percentage point or more, with the largest of these declines occurring in Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, N.C.- S.C. (-1.8 points). New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, La., experienced the largest unemployment rate increase from October 2009 (+1.2 percentage points), followed by Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev. (+1.0 point).

Metropolitan Division Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Eleven of the most populous metropolitan areas are made up of 34 metropolitan divisions, which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers. In October, Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich., registered the highest jobless rate among the divisions, 14.4 percent. Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla., had the next highest rate, 13.1 percent. Nashua, N.H.-Mass., and Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Md., reported the lowest unemployment rates among the divisions, 5.2 and 5.4 percent, respectively.

In October, 29 metropolitan divisions recorded over-the-year jobless rate de-creases, and 5 divisions reported rate increases. Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich., and Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich., posted the largest rate de-creases from October 2009 (-2.4 percentage points each). Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla., experienced the largest unemployment rate increase among divisions (+1.3 percentage points).

In 5 of the 11 metropolitan areas that contain divisions, the ranges between the highest and lowest division jobless rates were 2.0 percentage points or more in October. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H., recorded the largest rate difference among its divisions, 6.0 percentage points (Lawrence-Methuen-Salem, Mass.-N.H., 11.2 percent, compared with Nashua, N.H.-Mass., 5.2 percent).

Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In October, 182 metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 178 reported decreases, and 12 had no change. The largest over-the-year employment increase occurred in Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.- Md.-W.Va. (+43,700); followed by Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.- N.H., and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+24,800 each); Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz. (+24,300); and Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis. (+21,300). The largest over-the-year percentage gain in employment occurred in Manhattan, Kan. (+8.0 percent), followed by Kokomo, Ind. (+5.3 percent), Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, Wash. (+4.8 percent), Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway, S.C. (+4.6 percent), Elizabethtown, Ky. (+4.4 percent), and St. Joseph, Mo.-Kan. (+4.2 percent). (See table 3.)

The largest over-the-year employment decrease was recorded in Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. (-62,100), followed by San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif. (-33,000), Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich. (-32,600), and Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev. (-25,100). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment were reported in Yuba City, Calif. (-4.4 percent); Holland-Grand Haven, Mich., and Monroe, Mich. (-3.9 percent each); and Cumberland, Md.-W.Va. (-3.8 percent).

Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 20 of the 36 metropolitan areas with annual average employment levels above 750,000 in 2009. The large area that reported the biggest over-the-year percentage increase in employment was Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas (+2.4 percent), followed by Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. (+1.5 percent), Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz. (+1.4 percent), and Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis. (+1.3 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment in these large metropolitan areas were posted in Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev. (-3.1 percent), Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, Calif. (-2.7 percent), Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich. (-1.9 percent), and San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif. (-1.7 percent).

Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Nonfarm payroll employment data were available in October for 32 metropolitan divisions, which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers within a metropolitan area. Seventeen of the 32 metropolitan divisions reported over-the-year employment gains, while 15 reported losses. The largest over-the-year employment increases in the metropolitan divisions were registered in Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.- Md.-W.Va. (+32,400), Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+16,600), Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif. (+14,200), and Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass. (+13,200). The largest over-the-year decrease in the metropolitan divisions occurred in Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.(-45,000), followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (-31,400), and Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich. (- 23,800). (See table 4.)

The largest over-the-year percentage increases in employment among the metropolitan divisions were posted in Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Md. (+2.0 percent); Nashua, N.H.-Mass., and Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. (+1.4 percent each); and Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Mass. (+1.2 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment among the metropolitan divisions was reported in Lake County-Kenosha County, Ill.-Wis. (-4.0 percent),followed by Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich. (-2.3 percent), Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, Calif. (-2.0 percent), and Camden, N.J. (-1.9 percent).

The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news release for November is scheduled to be released on Friday, December 17, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. (EST). The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for November is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, January 4, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. (EST).

Technical Note

This release presents labor force and unemployment data from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program (tables 1 and 2) for 372 metropolitan statistical areas and metropolitan New England City and Town Areas (NECTAs), plus 8 areas in Puerto Rico. Estimates for 34 metropolitan and NECTA divisions also are presented. Nonfarm payroll employment estimates from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program (tables 3 and 4) are provided for most of the same areas. State estimates were previously published in the news release, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment, and are republished in this release for ease of reference. The LAUS and CES programs are both federal-state cooperative endeavors.

Labor force and unemployment--from the LAUS program

Definitions. The labor force and unemployment data are based on the same concepts and definitions as those used for the official national estimates obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a sample survey of households that is conducted for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the U.S. Census Bureau. The LAUS program measures employment and unemployment on a place-of-residence basis. The universe for each is the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and over. Employed persons are those who did any work at all for pay or profit in the reference week (the week including the 12th of the month) or worked 15 hours or more without pay in a family business or farm, plus those not working who had a job from which they were temporarily absent, whether or not paid, for such reasons as labor-management dispute, illness, or vacation. Unemployed persons are those who were not employed during the reference week (based on the definition above), had actively looked for a job sometime in the 4-week period ending with the reference week, and were currently available for work; persons on layoff expecting recall need not be looking for work to be counted as unemployed. The labor force is the sum of employed and unemployed persons. The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed as a per-cent of the labor force.

Method of estimation. Estimates for states, the District of Columbia, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale metropolitan division, and New York City are produced using time-series models with real-time benchmarking to national CPS totals. Model-based estimation was extended to the following areas and their respective balances of state in 2005: the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL Metropolitan Division; Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area; Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area; Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL Metropolitan Division; New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area; and Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA Metropolitan Division. (Model-based estimation of the New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner metropolitan area was suspended following Hurricane Katrina; the indirect estimation methods described below will be used for this area until further notice.) Modeling improves the statistical basis of the estimation for these areas and provides important tools for analysis, such as measures of errors and seasonally adjusted series. For all other substate areas in this release, estimates are prepared through indirect estimation procedures using a building-block approach. Employment estimates, which are based largely on “place of work” estimates from the CES program, are adjusted to refer to place of residence as used in the CPS. Unemployment estimates are aggregates of persons previously employed in industries covered by state unemployment in-surance (UI) laws and entrants to the labor force data from the CPS. The substate estimates of employment and unemployment, which geographically exhaust the entire state, are adjusted proportionally to ensure that they add to the independently estimated state or balance-of-state totals. A detailed description of the estimation procedures is avail-able from BLS upon request.

Annual revisions. Labor force and unemployment data shown for the prior year reflect adjustments made at the end of each year, usually implemented with January estimates. The adjusted model-based estimates reflect updated population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, any revisions in the other data sources, and model reestimation. All substate estimates are reestimated and adjusted to add to the revised model-based estimates.

Employment--from the CES program

Definitions. Employment data refer to persons on establishment payrolls who receive pay for any part of the pay period that includes the 12th of the month. Persons are counted at their place of work rather than at their place of residence; those appearing on more than one payroll are counted on each payroll. Industries are classified on the basis of their principal activity in accordance with the 2007 version of the North American Industry Classification System.

Method of estimation. The employment data are estimated using a “link relative” technique in which a ratio (link relative) of current-month employment to that of the previous month is computed from a sample of establishments reporting for both months. The estimates of employment for the current month are obtained by multiplying the estimates for the previous month by these ratios. Small-domain models are used as the official estimators for the approximately 39 percent of CES published series which have insufficient sample for direct sample-based estimates.

Annual revisions. Employment estimates are adjusted annually to a complete count of jobs, called benchmarks, derived principally from tax reports that are submitted by employers who are covered under state un-employment insurance (UI) laws. The benchmark information is used to adjust the monthly estimates between the new benchmark and the preceding one and also to establish the level of employment for the new benchmark month. Thus, the benchmarking process establishes the level of employment, and the sample is used to measure the month-to-month changes in the level for the subsequent months.

Reliability of the estimates

The estimates presented in this release are based on sample surveys, administrative data, and modeling and, thus, are subject to sampling and other types of errors. Sampling error is a measure of sampling variability--that is, variation that occurs by chance because a sample rather than the entire population is surveyed. Survey data also are subject to nonsampling errors, such as those which can be introduced into the data collection and processing operations. Estimates not directly derived from sample surveys are subject to additional errors resulting from the particular estimation processes used. The sums of individual items may not always equal the totals shown in the same tables because of rounding. Unemployment rates are computed from un-rounded data and thus may differ slightly from rates computed using the rounded data displayed in the tables.

Labor force and unemployment estimates. Model-based error measures are available for states on the Internet at www.bls.gov/lau/lastderr.htm. Measures of nonsampling error are not available, but additional information on the subject is provided in Employment and Earnings Online at www.bls.gov/opub/ee/home.htm.

Employment estimates. Measures of sampling error for state CES data at the supersector level and for metropolitan area CES data at the total nonfarm level are available online at www.bls.gov/sae/790stderr.htm. Information on recent benchmark revisions for states is available on the BLS Web site at www.bls.gov/sae/.

Area definitions

The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget on December 1, 2009. Data reflect New England City and Town Area (NECTA) definitions, rather than county-based definitions, in the six New England States. A detailed list of the geographic definitions is available at www.bls.gov/lau/lausmsa.htm.

Additional information

More complete information on the technical procedures used to develop these estimates and additional data appear in Employment and Earnings Online.

Estimates of unadjusted and seasonally adjusted labor force and unemployment data for states, census regions and divisions, and seven substate areas are available in the news release, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment. Estimates of labor force and unemployment for all states, metropolitan areas, labor market areas, counties, cities with a population of 25,000 or more, and other areas used in the administration of various federal economic assistance programs are available on the Internet at www.bls.gov/lau/. Employment data from the CES program are available on the BLS Web site at www.bls.gov/sae/.

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