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Labor Force and Employment Grows in Cornerstone Region
Monday, April 13, 2015 7:00 AM

Unemployment rates were lower in February than a year earlier in 366 of the 387 metropolitan areas, higher in 18 areas, and unchanged in three areas. Three areas had jobless rates of less than 3.0 percent and 16 areas had rates of at least 10.0 percent. The national unemployment rate in February was 5.5 percent.

Percent Unemployment, February 2015

Lincoln, Nebraska, had the lowest unemployment rate in February, 2.4 percent, followed by Ames, Iowa, 2.7 percent, and Midland, Texas, 2.8 percent. Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a population of 1 million or more, Austin-Round Rock, Texas, had the lowest unemployment rate in February, 3.4 percent, followed by Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 3.6 percent.

Civilian Labor Force
In February, 355 metropolitan areas had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 29 had decreases, and 3 had no change. The largest over-the-year employment increases occurred in New York-Newark-Jersey City (+162,300), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim (+152,400), and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington (+132,400). The largest over-the-year percentage gain in employment occurred in Midland, Texas (+8.8 percent), followed by Ocean City, New Jersey (+8.6 percent), and Lake Charles, Louisiana (+8.5 percent).

One-Year Growth (or Decline) in Labor Force
In February 2015, all of the 38 metropolitan divisions had over-the-year gains in nonfarm payroll employment. The largest over-the-year increase in employment among the metropolitan divisions occurred in New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ (+132,600), followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA (+101,100), and Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX (+100,200).

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Cornerstone League Research, 8 April 2015