DC metro area — and most others — have unemployment rates higher than a year ago

The unemployment rate was higher in almost 80% of U.S. metropolitan areas in April compared to a year ago, including the D.C. metro area.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the D.C. region’s unemployment rate last month was 2.6%, among the lowest metro jobless rates. However, that’s up from 2.1% a year earlier. Month-over-month, the D.C. metro’s unemployment rate fell from 2.8% in March.

The D.C. metro area ended April with 43,188 more civilian workforce jobs than a year ago, with a total of 3.51 million jobs in the civilian workforce.

Unemployment rates were up a full percentage point or more in 10% of metropolitan areas compared to a year ago. Among the 51 largest cities, nine have a higher unemployment rate than the national average of 3.9%.

Metropolitan unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Ames, Iowa, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and Jackson, Mississippi, had the lowest unemployment rates in April, at 1.6% each. They were followed by Burlington, Vermont, and Iowa City, Iowa at 1.7%.

El Centro, California, had the highest unemployment rate at 15.7%.

Among metros with a population of 1 million or more, Nashville had the lowest April unemployment rate at 2.2%. Las Vegas had the highest, at 5.2%.

BLS posts monthly metropolitan unemployment rates and changes in payrolls online.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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