US cities with highest and lowest unemployment rates

Data: BLS; Note: Includes metropolitan areas with more than one million workers in the civilian labor force; Graphic: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Las Vegas, Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston have the highest unemployment rates in the nation among metro areas with more than one million workers, according to a new Axios analysis of the latest local Department of Labor data.

  • Miami, Minneapolis and Tampa Bay have some of the lowest unemployment rates.

Why is this important: Looking only at the national unemployment rate can mask significant disparities between booming and struggling cities.

By the numbers: Nationally, the unemployment rate was 3.5% in March, down 0.1 percentage point from the previous month and down 0.1 percentage point year over year. ‘other.

  • In February — the last month for which city-level data is available — unemployment was below 3% in a handful of US metro areas, including Miami (2.2%), Minneapolis (2.4%) and Tampa (2.5%).
  • But it was above 4% in other cities, including Las Vegas (5.7%), Chicago (4.4%), Los Angeles (4.3%) and Houston (4.3%).

Enlarge: Miami, New Orleans and Philadelphia have all seen particularly notable declines in unemployment, with rates falling by more than one percentage point in each of those cities between February 2022 and February 2023.

Zoom out: City-level unemployment numbers tend to track the national trend closely, with minor variances due to local economic conditions.

  • Here is an overview of Chicago, for example:
Data: BLS;  Graphic: Axios Visuals
Data: BLS; Graphic: Axios Visuals

The bottom line: While unemployment is down nationwide, some cities are hurting more than others.

  • The Fed, meanwhile, is keeping a close eye on employment levels as a measure of the overall temperature of the economy.

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