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Metro Area Unemployment Rates Drop Overall Around U.S., BLS Says

04/07/2011
Metro area unemployment declined overall in February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Unemployment rates dropped on a year-over-year basis in 308 of 372 surveyed metro areas. Rates were higher in 52 metros and roughly the same in 12 metros.

Fifteen metros had unemployment rates of at least 15 percent and seven had jobless rates of less than 5 percent. El Centro, California, had the highest metro unemployment rate of nearly 27 percent. Of the 15 areas with jobless rates of at least 15 percent, 12 are located in California. Lincoln, Nebraska, had the lowest unemployment rate of 4.2 percent. Other low rates were measured in Bismarck, North Dakota (4.6 percent) and Ames, Iowa, Fargo, North Dakota-Minnesota, and Iowa City, Iowa, all with 4.7 percent unemployment.

Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana, had the greatest annual unemployment rate drop in February, of 4.7 percentage points. Muskegon-Norton Shores, Michigan, and Rockford, Illinois, followed with a drop of 4.2 percentage points.

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