Unemployment Falls in 93 Percent of Metro Areas
Today, the Labor Department released its April survey of unemployment in 372 metropolitan areas across the United States. And it is a very good report: The rate of joblessness dropped in 346 areas, rose in 12 and remained flat in 14. That is a significant month-to-month improvement, as in March, unemployment fell in 257 metro areas and climbed in 89.
The report bodes well for Friday’s major jobs report. Economists expect the economy to have added 500,000 jobs and the overall unemployment rate to track down. The data will be slightly skewed because of temporary census hiring. Still, it will hopefully augur an accelerating recovery, given that the weekly initial jobless claims and other metrics have stagnated.
Year-on-year, the stats are less good: The unemployment rate rose in 291 metro areas and fell in 73. In April, El Centro, Calif., recorded the highest rate of joblessness — 27.9 percent. The state in general carried the greatest number of hard-hit areas. Of 14 metro areas with unemployment rates above 15 percent, 11 were in California.