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By | February 4, 2017

Released on Tuesday, June 30, the US unemployment rate has again seen a significant rise in May. Indeed, the statistics announced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, (BLS), has reported that all three hundred and seventy two metropolitan areas are currently at higher rates than in the same month in 2008.

Whilst these figures are not seasonally adjusted, the fact that out of these three hundred and seventy two areas, fifteen returned jobless rates of at least fifteen percent is extremely worrying. Also a concern was to be found in the one hundred and twelve areas that had a raised unemployment rate of ten to fourteen point nine percent. However, twenty one metropolitan areas have registered labor reductions of below five percent, with a further seventy six areas being less than seven percent. There were signs of recovery however, with fifteen areas reporting employment rate increases.

The average rate across the whole country was reported as being nine point four percent, a figure closely matched by the New York metropolitan area, at nine percent; giving it an entire unemployed workforce of three hundred and sixteen thousand; this dwarfs the figure following the so called 9/11 recession. Indeed, a higher figure has not been seen here since 1993.

New York has continued to enjoy success in other areas however; where significant increases in tourism, and Federal sponsored stimulus in the construction industry has buoyed the economy.

The single biggest rate, at a staggering twenty six point eight percent, was felt in El Centro, California, which has only been lessened by a reduction in Mexicans crossing the borders. A poor crop harvest this year has caused its own difficulties. The closest other bad performer, Yuma, Arizona, is some way behind, with a figure of twenty three point three percent.

Of those areas suffering the smallest unemployment rate, Bismarck, North Dakota had the slowest, at just three point five percent. Iowa City, Iowa (three point seven percent) and Aimes, Iowa (three point eight percent), complete the top three smallest rates.

That one hundred and forty eight metropolitan areas actually posted unemployment rate figures above the national average of nine point four percent is simply staggering. However, this bleak picture has to be weighed against the fact that two hundred and fifteen areas fell short of the average. In fact, the average figure could be considered somewhat of a misnomer, with just nine areas exactly matching it.

The picture in those metropolitan areas with a total population in excess of one million is just as bleak. In Detroit Warren Livonia, Michigan, the returned unemployment rate hit just a point short of fifteen percent. In addition to this, thirteen other areas continue to suffer jobless figures in excess of ten percent; with California again hit hard, where Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, fell just short of first place, with thirteen percent.

The picture really doesn’t get any better for any of the ten highest populated areas, where the lowest rate was one point seven percent over the last year, whilst the lowest rate of five point seven percent for the month of May was in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

However, that US employers cut only three hundred and forty five thousand jobs in May, the smallest total figure since September of 2008, results have actually been less substantial than many forecasts predicted. Evidence that the recession may be winding down perhaps? Time will tell, with the latest unemployment rate figures set to be announced on July 17, (Regional and State), and 29 (Metropolitan Areas) respectively.


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