Blogging on Employment and Job Markets in US Metro Areas

September Metro Area Unemployment Update

The BLS recently released September unemployment figures for metro areas. This post will focus unemployment rates among the nation’s 51 largest metro areas (those that had populations of 1 million or more as of the 2000 census). For comparison, the national unemployment rate for September was 4.1%, down from 4.8% as of September 2016.

Denver had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.2%. Denver also had the lowest unemployment a year earlier at 2.8%. Three other metro area also had unemployment rates below 3% in September.

September 2017 metro areas with unemployment rates under 3%
Compared to year earlier, eleven metro areas saw their unemployment rates drop by more than 1%. Birmingham, Alabama saw the largest decrease, to 3.1% from 5.9% a year earlier (down 2.8%). The second and third largest decreases were in Tennessee metro areas, Memphis (down 2.2%) and Nashville (down 1.9%).

September 2017 metro areas with unemployment rates decrease from a year earlier greater than 1%
Only three large metro areas saw an increase in unemployment compared to a year earlier:

September 2017 metro areas with unemployment rates higher than a year earlier
Below is a table showing the September 2016 unemployment rate, September 2017 unemployment rate, and the change in unemployment rate for all 51 large metro areas. The table can be sorted by any of its columns.

Metro AreaSept 2016Sept 2017change
Birmingham, AL5.9%3.1%-2.8%
Memphis, TN5.7%3.5%-2.2%
Nashville, TN4.2%2.3%-1.9%
Orlando, FL4.7%3.2%-1.5%
Tampa, FL4.8%3.3%-1.5%
Jacksonville, FL4.8%3.4%-1.4%
Miami, FL5.3%3.9%-1.4%
Atlanta, GA5.3%4.0%-1.3%
St. Louis, MO4.7%3.5%-1.2%
Detroit, MI5.6%4.4%-1.2%
Pittsburgh, PA5.5%4.4%-1.1%
Charlotte, NC4.7%3.8%-0.9%
Houston, TX5.7%4.8%-0.9%
Providence, RI4.7%3.8%-0.9%
Kansas City, MO4.3%3.4%-0.9%
Milwaukee, WI4.3%3.4%-0.9%
Raleigh, NC4.3%3.5%-0.8%
New Orleans, LA5.8%5.0%-0.8%
Chicago, IL5.5%4.7%-0.8%
San Antonio, TX3.9%3.2%-0.7%
Hampton Roads, VA4.7%4.1%-0.6%
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX4.0%3.4%-0.6%
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN3.5%2.9%-0.6%
Denver, CO2.8%2.2%-0.6%
Baltimore, MD4.3%3.7%-0.6%
Phoenix, AZ4.6%4.0%-0.6%
Inland Empire, CA6.0%5.4%-0.6%
Austin, TX3.4%2.9%-0.5%
San Jose, CA3.8%3.3%-0.5%
Richmond, VA4.3%3.8%-0.5%
Portland, OR4.5%4.0%-0.5%
San Diego, CA4.6%4.1%-0.5%
Los Angeles, CA5.0%4.5%-0.5%
Philadelphia, PA5.1%4.6%-0.5%
Sacramento, CA5.0%4.5%-0.5%
Hartford, CT4.6%4.1%-0.5%
San Francisco, CA3.7%3.3%-0.4%
Columbus, OH4.2%3.8%-0.4%
Oklahoma City, OK4.3%3.9%-0.4%
Cincinnati, OH4.3%3.9%-0.4%
Louisville, KY4.1%3.7%-0.4%
Las Vegas, NV5.6%5.2%-0.4%
Indianapolis, IN3.7%3.4%-0.3%
Washington, DC3.9%3.6%-0.3%
Seattle-Tacoma, WA4.4%4.2%-0.2%
New York, NY4.9%4.7%-0.2%
Buffalo, NY5.1%4.9%-0.2%
Rochester, NY4.8%4.7%-0.1%
Salt Lake City, UT2.9%3.0%0.1%
Boston, MA3.1%3.3%0.2%
Cleveland, OH5.3%5.7%0.4%
data source: Bureau of Labor Statistics