Cities with the Highest and Lowest Unemployment in March

While unemployment rates are higher this March than they were last March, the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that unemployment was up in 321 of the 372 metropolitan areas, but lower in 41 areas, and unchanged in 10 areas. Twenty-eight areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, while 3 areas registered rates below 5.0 percent. The national unemployment rate in March was 10.2 percent, up from 9.0 percent a year earlier.

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Three areas in California again registered the highest unemployment rates: El Centro, 27.0 percent; Merced, 22.1 percent; and Yuba City, 21.7 percent. Among the 28 areas with jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, 15 were located in California and 5 were in Michigan.

Believe it or not, Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, La., registered the lowest unemployment rate in March--4.6 percent.

Overall, 151 areas recorded unemployment rates above the U.S. figure of 10.2 percent, 215 areas reported rates below it, and 6 areas had rates equal to that of the nation.

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., reported the highest unemployment rates in March, 15.5 and 15.0 percent, respectively. Forty-six of the large areas registered over-the-year unemployment rate increases.

The cities with the largest increase in unemployment were:

  1. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev. (+3.2 percentage points)

  2. Jacksonville, Fla. (+2.9 percentage points)

  3. Riverside-San Bernardino- Ontario, Calif. (+2.7 points).

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis., and Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y., were the only large areas to post jobless rate decreases over the year (-0.6 and -0.2 percentage point, respectively).

The areas with the lowest jobless rates in March were:

  1. New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, La., 6.0 percent

  2. Oklahoma City, Okla., 6.1 percent

  3. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.- W.Va., 6.7 percent.

The cities with the largest over-the-year increases in employment were:

  1. Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, Wash. (+5,100 jobs)

  2. Lawrence, Kan. (+2,900 jobs)

  3. Yakima, Wash. (+2,400 jobs)

  4. Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway, S.C. (+2,000 jobs)

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Next: Are You Lucky Enough to be Living Where Employment is Rising? >>

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell


Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want.  Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, and many other media outlets.  Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on

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freddy bradley

We should lower full-time employment to 30 hours a week with full pay and benefits. The other 10 hours could be use to hire other people. The working class is the back-bone in America and gets the worsest treatment. Lowering the tax burden on workers could also be a way of creating more jobs. People should also learn at least 5 ways to make a living without slaving for other and being economically exploited and oppressed.

June 17 2010 at 10:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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