By Luis Cabrera
The Department of Labor Statistics released figures for unemployment by Metropolitan areas nationwide. The report, posted on June 27th, contains the latest job data per city up to May of 2012, and a comparison chart to the same month a year ago. Out of the 372 cities and metro areas tallied by the government, 331 registered lower jobless rates than in May of 2011 with only 32 areas that fared higher in unemployment and nine areas that saw no change.
Additionally, in May of 2012, only 45 metropolitan zones reported unemployment figures greater than 10 percent, much better from the 84 areas that had double-digit rates in the same month the previous year. Furthermore, 140 areas reported jobless numbers below seven percent, an added improvement of 44 municipalities compared to May of 2011. At the same thirty-day period last year, only 96 cities in the nation used more than 93 percent of their workforce available.
As a country, the unemployment index not-seasonally-adjusted for May was 7.9 percent, which was down from 8.7 percent a year earlier. Nevada still ranks high in unemployed population, but our numbers showed improvement compared to those in 2011. The silver state saw a reduction of almost two points in unemployment percentage from last year. Nevada’s May jobless rate was 11.6 percent, down from 13.3 percent in May of 2011.
Worst Cities both in Southwest US
According to the report, the cities with the highest jobless rate in the nation are Yuma, AZ, with a staggering 28.9 percent of people unemployed, and El Centro, CA, an area that has a worrisome 26.8 percentage of their labor-ready residents out of work.
The best place to gain employment in the nation is the city of Bismarck in North Dakota, where the number of people without a job is a low 2.5 percent. Fargo, ND, and its twin city Moorhead in Minnesota followed on close second with only three percent of people unemployed there.
Las Vegas-Paradise tied for worst in large areas
For large metropolitan areas with a population of over one million, the Las Vegas-Paradise metropolitan zone is tied with Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario in the neighboring golden state for worst unemployment countrywide. Both areas have an equally high 11.8 percentage of people out of work, a number far surpassing the nation’s average. However, figures in Las Vegas-Paradise are better than a year ago, when the jobless rate was slightly over 13 percent.
Las Vegas-Paradise data in the Department of Labor Statistics’ report refers to our greater suburban area as a whole. However, in the breakdown by cities in the valley on the same report, North Las Vegas is the worst case, with more people (per-capita) out of work. The latest report shows a 14.1 unemployment percent for that municipality, followed by Las Vegas with 12.2 percent and Henderson with only 11 percent.
Although still higher than the national average, all three cities did better this time around in comparison to May of 2011, when the jobless rate in North Las Vegas reached 16 percent.