Employment increases in half of U.S. metro areas

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Nearly half of the nation’s 372 metropolitan areas saw year-over-year employment increases in November.

While 16 remained the same, 176 had decreases in nonfarm payroll employment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For the same month, unemployment declined. Job less rates in 114 metropolitan areas hovered at or above 10 percent, a decrease from 127 areas a year ago.

Similarly, 63 areas saw jobless rates below 7 percent – down from 74 areas last year.

The highest unemployment rate in the nation was in El Centro, Calif., at 29.1 percent, followed by Yuma, Ariz., with 24.8 percent.

California continues to be the hardest-hit state.

Eleven of the 13 areas with jobless rates, of at least 15 percent, were in California.
The lowest unemployment rate was in Bismarck, N.D., with 3.3 percent.

The largest year-over-year in November unemployment increase, 4.3 percent, was in Yuma, Ariz.

Pueblo, Colo., was the only other area with a rate increase of 2 percent or more.

The largest decrease, -3.5 percent, in the jobless rate was in Monroe, Mich.

In large metropolitan areas, Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, Colo., and Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., posted the largest jobless rate increases, 1.6 and
1.8 percent, respectively, for the year.