Large Cities Continue to Beat National Average

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) unemployment figures for April 2016. Of the 387 official metro areas in the United States, 269 (70%) saw their unemployment rates drop lower than the previous year’s April 2015 rate. Ames, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area has the lowest unemployment rate nationally, 2.0%, and El Centro, California MSA currently has the highest, with an unemployment rate of 20.0%

Illinois is currently on a concerning trajectory, as four of the ten MSAs with the greatest increase in their unemployment rate from April 2015 to April 2016 are from that state. Arkansas has more MSAs (also four) that are among the top ten performers in reducing unemployment than any other state, from April 2015-2016.

A look at the top ten metropolitan areas in the U.S., which can be viewed in the table below, reveals that 8 of 10 have shown improvement in their rate. Only the Chicago and Houston metro areas have seen their unemployment rates grow worse from April of last year to the same time this year.

[table id=5 /]