While employment news continues to be bleak, fewer governmental layoffs
have helped jobs
in the DC and Northern Virginia area remain relatively strong.
Unemployment rates were higher in December than a year earlier in 363 of the 369 metropolitan areas, lower in 5 areas, and unchanged in 1 area, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor
has reported. Forty areas recorded jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent, while only two areas registered rates below 3.0 percent. The national unemployment rate in December was 7.1 percent, up from 4.8 percent a year earlier.
In December, 168 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 7.0 percent, up from 33 areas a year earlier, while 22 areas posted rates below 4.0 percent, down from 112 areas in December 2007. El Centro, Calif., continued to record the highest unemployment rate, 22.6 percent.
Elkhart-Goshen, Ind., recorded the largest jobless rate increase from December 2007, followed by Dalton, Ga. Both areas have experienced manufacturing-related layoffs in recent months.
Of the 49 metropolitan areas with a Census 2000 population of 1 million or more, Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich., and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., again reported the highest unemployment rates in December, 10.6 and 10.1 percent, respectively. Twenty additional large areas posted rates of 7.0 percent or more.
The large areas with the lowest jobless rates in December were Oklahoma City, Okla., and Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va., 4.6 and 4.7 percent, respectively. All 49 large areas registered higher unemployment rates than in December 2007. Providence-Fall River-Warwick, R.I.-Mass., had the largest jobless rate increase from a year earlier.