Unemployment Worsens, Climbs In Nearly Half Of U.S. Metro Areas

Despite all of our government’s recovery efforts, it still can’t get a grasp on the dampened job market.


AP: Unemployment worsened or stayed the same in most metro areas in October, the labour Department said Wednesday, as jobs remained scarce nationwide.

The report comes a day before the Obama administration is to hold a “jobs summit” at the White House that will gather economists, academics and corporate executives to consider how the government can spur job creation.

The jobless rate rose in 162 of the 372 metro areas tracked by the labour Department. The rate was unchanged in 42 areas. It dropped in 168 areas.

In September, unemployment had improved in 223 areas and worsened in only 123. The deteriorating trend mirrors the U.S. unemployment rate, which jumped to 10.2 per cent in October from 9.8 per cent in September.

The metro unemployment data isn’t seasonally adjusted and is therefore volatile from month-to-month. All 372 areas reported higher unemployment rates in October compared with the previous year.

The labour Department is scheduled to release the national unemployment report for November on Friday. Wall Street economists expect it will show the jobless rate was unchanged at 10.2 per cent while employers shed 130,000 jobs, according to Thomson Reuters. There were 190,000 job cuts in October.

Fifteen areas recorded jobless rates of 15 per cent or worse in October, the department said, with nine of those in California and three in Michigan. That’s up from 13 areas with rates above 15 per cent the previous month.

Fresno, Calif., for example, saw its jobless rate soar to 15.8 per cent from 14 per cent in September. And the rate in Hanford-Corcoran, Calif., jumped to 15.5 per cent from 13.9 per cent.

The areas with the biggest increases were: Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa, which soared to 8 per cent from 5.6 per cent; Ocean City, N.J., to 10.6 per cent from 8.5 per cent; and Sandusky, Ohio, to 10.9 per cent from 9.5 per cent.

The largest improvements were in: Lawrence, Kan., where the rate fell to 4.7 per cent from 5.4 per cent; Ames, Iowa, to 4 per cent from 4.5 per cent; and Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass., to 7.9 per cent from 8.8 per cent.

El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz. posted the nation’s highest jobless rates of 30 and 23.5 per cent, respectively. The two adjacent counties are heavily agricultural and have many seasonal farm workers.

Bismarck, N.D., recorded the nation’s lowest rate, at 2.8 per cent, followed by Fargo and Grand Forks, N.D., both at 3.5 per cent.

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