In this brief we examine labor force and unemployment rate changes for 372 U.S. metropolitan areas between November 2013 and November 2014 as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The strong performance of the national economy in 2014 helped drive the national unemployment rate down from 6.6 percent in November 2013 to 5.5 percent in November 2014. Most U.S. metro areas have benefited from the improved national situation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that, from November 2013 to November 2014, unemployment rates declined in 344 of the nation’s 372 metro areas (92 percent).
However, in many of these regions the lower unemployment rates have been a function of declining labor forces, rather than strong job growth. During the same 12-month period, the size of the civilian labor force increased in just 233 metro areas (63 percent). See how your MSA ranks and the full report by clicking here.