Unemployment Rates Up From 2023 in 78% of US Metro Areas

Las Vegas Tops List at 5.2%; in about 10% of Metro Areas, Rate Was Up a Full Percentage Point or More
job fair
(Allison Joyce/Bloomberg News)

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Unemployment rates were higher in more than three-quarters of metropolitan areas in the U.S. last month compared with a year ago.

The jobless rate climbed in 305 of the 389 metropolitan areas in April, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on May 29. The rates fell in 56 places, and were unchanged in 28.

In about 10% of metropolitan areas, the unemployment rate was up a full percentage point or more over the past year. Among the 51 largest metropolitan areas, nine cities surpassed the U.S. jobless rate of 3.9%. Las Vegas topped the list at 5.2%, while California had six areas that were among those with the highest rates.

In seven large metros, the unemployment rate climbed fast too — rising a full percentage point or more over the past year. In Providence, R.I., the rate jumped to 3.7% from 2.5%, and in Baltimore it rose to 2.7% from 1.5%, which was one of the lowest in the country. Other areas that saw a sharp increase in joblessness are Seattle, Detroit, Columbus, San Jose and Cincinnati.

Metro area unemployment rates

Going by numbers, the Portland, Ore., metro area had the biggest loss of jobs, with 14,600 fewer people working compared to April 2023. In Denver there was a 9,900 drop in jobs and in Memphis, Tenn., 7,500 fewer people collected a paycheck.

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