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California Hit Hardest By Unemployment, BLS Reports

El Centro, California has the highest unemployment rate in the country, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report out today. The city sustained an unemployment rate of 27.9 percent for the month of April. Yuma, Arizona had the second-highest unemployment rate, with 24.4 percent of residents out of work. The West has been particularly hard hit by the recession: 11 of 14 areas with unemployment rates topping 15 percent are in California.

For metro areas with a Census 2000 population of 1 million people or more, Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Michigan had the highest unemployment rate of 14.8 percent. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nevada and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California had the next highest rates at 14.2 percent each.

Las Vegas-Paradise recorded the highest annual jobless rate increase of 3.7 percentage points. Farmington, New Mexico followed with an increase of 3.6 percentage points. The largest annual decrease in unemployment was seen in Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana, which had a drop of 4.8 percentage points.

Bismarck, North Dakota and Fargo, North Dakota-Minnesota had the lowest unemployment rates as of April, with 3.6 percent and 3.9 percent of residents unemployed, respectively. For large metro areas, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C-Virginia-Maryland-West Virginia; and New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, Louisiana had the lowest unemployment rates of 5.9 percent, 5.9 percent, and 6.1 percent, respectively.

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