Unemployment in urban areas improved in most U.S. cities during April. Joblessness fell in 356 of the 372 largest U.S. metro areas, according to the Labor Department. Figures in most states improved as well.
The worst pockets of unemployment remain as they were three years ago, with only the most modest improvement.
The battle to improve jobs growth is still most challenging in the interior region of California. The jobless rate is above 14% in Bakersfield-Delano, Fresno, Stockton, and is 26.8% in El Centro. Even Las Vegas, which was one of the most troubled regions in the U.S., the jobless rate has improved to 11.6%.
The most impressive turnaround is in some states that were not expected to recover because of specific problems. The jobless rate in Michigan dropped to 8% in April from 10.1% in the same month a year ago. This has happened without a sharp improvement in job in the auto industry. Florida’s jobs situation, badly undermined by a collapse of the real estate market, is 8.3%, down from 10% in the same month a year ago.
Everyone still works in several states, which includes North Dakota where joblessness was 3.1% in April.
Douglas A. McIntyre