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

The following is the text of the U.S. metropolitan area employment report for July released by the


Unemployment rates were lower in July than a year earlier in 257 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 94 areas, and unchanged in 21 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Twelve areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, while ten areas registered rates of less than 5.0 percent. Two hundred thirty-two metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 133 reported decreases, and 7 had no change. The national unemployment rate in July was 9.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 9.7 percent a year earlier.

Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In July, 117 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent, down from 127 areas a year earlier, while 62 areas posted rates below 7.0 percent, up from 54 areas in July 2010. El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., recorded the highest unemployment rates in July 2011, 30.8 and 30.0 percent, respectively. All of the remaining 10 areas with jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent were located in California. Bismarck, N.D., registered the lowest unemployment rate, 3.0 percent. The areas with the next lowest rates were Fargo, N.D.-Minn., and Lincoln, Neb., 3.7 and 3.8 percent, respectively. Of the 10 areas with jobless rates of less than 5.0 percent, 8 were located in the West North Central census division. A total of 219 areas recorded July unemployment rates below the U.S. figure of 9.3 percent, 150 areas reported rates above it, and 3 areas had rates equal to that of the nation.

The largest over-the-year unemployment rate decrease in July was registered in Rockford, Ill. (-3.3 percentage points), followed by Steubenville-Weirton, Ohio-W.Va. (-3.0 points). An additional 14 areas recorded jobless rate decreases of at least 2.0 percentage points. Pascagoula, Miss., reported the largest over-the-year jobless rate increase (+1.9 percentage points). Eight additional areas had increases of at least a full percentage point from a year earlier.

In the 49 metropolitan areas with a Census 2000 population of 1 million or more, the highest unemployment rate in July was registered in Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., 14.7 percent. Sixteen additional large areas posted rates of 10.0 percent or more. The lowest jobless rate among the large areas was recorded in Oklahoma City, Okla., 5.5 percent, followed by Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va., 6.0 percent. Forty of the large areas reported over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, while seven areas registered rate increases and two had no change. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., experienced the largest unemployment rate decrease from July 2010 (-1.7 percentage points). Nine other large areas reported rate decreases of at least 1.0 percentage point. The large area with the largest over-the-year jobless rate increase was San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas (+0.6 percentage 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 July 2011, Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich., registered the highest jobless rate among the divisions, 15.7 percent. Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Md., and Nashua, N.H.-Mass., reported the lowest division rates, 5.6 percent each.

Twenty-eight of the metropolitan divisions recorded over-the-year jobless rate decreases in July, three registered increases, and three had no change. Lake County-Kenosha County, Ill.-Wis., posted the largest rate decline from a year earlier (-1.4 percentage points). No division experienced a rate increase greater than 0.2 percentage point over the year.

In 6 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 July. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H., recorded the largest rate difference among its divisions, 6.0 percentage points (Lawrence-Methuen-Salem, Mass.-N.H., 11.6 percent, compared with Nashua, N.H.-Mass., 5.6 percent).

Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In July, 232 metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 133 reported decreases, and 7 had no change. The largest over-the-year employment increase occurred in New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.- Pa. (+71,700), followed by Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+65,400), Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+65,100), and Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H. (+60,100). The largest over-the-year percentage gain in employment was reported in Sandusky, Ohio (+9.9 percent), followed by Manhattan, Kan. (+8.1 percent), Hot Springs, Ark. (+8.0 percent), and Steubenville-Weirton, Ohio-W.Va. (+6.4 percent).

The largest over-the-year decreases in employment occurred in Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. (-28,800), Richmond, Va. (- 10,400), Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind. (-9,100), and Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. (-7,900). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment were reported in Pascagoula, Miss. (-5.5 percent), Battle Creek, Mich. (-4.7 percent), and Abilene, Texas, and Anderson, Ind. (-4.3 percent each).

Over the year, nonfarm employment rose in 27 of the 36 metropolitan areas with annual average employment levels above 750,000 in 2010. The largest over-the-year percentage increases in employment in these large metropolitan areas were posted in San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. (+3.5 percent), Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (+2.6 percent), Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H. (+2.5 percent), and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas, and Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis. (+2.3 percent each). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. (-1.3 percent), Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind. (-1.0 percent), Sacramento-- Arden-Arcade--Roseville, Calif. (-0.8 percent), and Kansas City, Mo.-Kan. (-0.5 percent).

Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Nonfarm payroll employment data were available in July 2011 for 32 metropolitan divisions, which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers within a metropolitan area. Twenty-three of the 32 metropolitan divisions reported over-the-year employment gains, while 9 reported losses. The largest over-the-year increase in the metropolitan divisions occurred in New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. (+90,700), followed by Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+47,300), Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass. (+39,400), Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill. (+31,600), and Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (+31,000). The largest over-the-year decreases in the metropolitan divisions were in Edison-New Brunswick, N.J. (-13,600), Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. (-9,000), Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y. (-7,800), and Gary, Ind. (-6,500).

The largest over-the-year percentage increases in employment among the metropolitan divisions were reported in Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass., and Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, Mass.- N.H. (+2.4 percent each), Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (+2.3 percent), and Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. (+2.2 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment were in Gary, Ind. (-2.5 percent), Wilmington, Del.-Md.-N.J. (- 1.8 percent), Edison-New Brunswick, N.J. (-1.4 percent), and Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y. (-0.6 percent).

____________ The Regional and State Employment and Unemployment news release for August is scheduled to be released on Friday, September 16, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for August is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 28, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

Technical Note

This release presents labor force and unemployment data from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program 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 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 insurance (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/.

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 admini-stration 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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