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ArlingtonBusinessNo surprise: Metro-area joblessness down from year ago

No surprise: Metro-area joblessness down from year ago

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The Washington region was among 386 of the nation’s 389 metro corridors to see lower year-over-year joblessness in September, according to figures reported Nov. 3 by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With 3,335,510 residents in the civilian workforce and 141,620 looking for jobs, the metro area’s unemployment rate of 4.2 percent was down from 6.9 percent a year before, when the nation was still coming to grips with the impact of COVID.

Since then, rates have fallen, if in fits and starts, and while it doesn’t always seem that the number of jobs are increasing, jobless rates continue to trend down.

Nationally, the jobless rate of 4.6 percent in September represented a decline from 7.7 percent a year before. A total of 251 metro areas saw their unemployment rates lower than the national average, with 125 above and 13 equal to it.


Nationally, a total of 88 metro areas posted jobless rates of less than 3 percent, while two had rates of 10 percent or more, for the month.

The lowest jobless rates among all metro areas came from Logan, Utah, at 1.2 percent and Lincoln, Neb., at 1.3 percent. El Centro, Calif., had the highest rate, at 18.1 percent.

Among the 50-some metro areas with populations of 1 million or more, the lowest jobless rates were 1.7 percent in Salt Lake City and 1.9 percent in Oklahoma City. The highest rates, 7.4 percent each, were found in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

While jobless rates are down nearly across the board, only 90 of the 389 metro areas now have statistically higher non-farm employment compared to a year ago, with the remainder seeing any change within the margin of error.

Among metro areas, the highest job growth in raw numbers from a year before came in Los Angeles (up 364,000), New York City (260,600) and Dallas-Fort Worth (196,700). On a percentage basis, the highest job growth was reported in two Hawaii metros: Kahului (up 23.9 percent from a year before) and Honolulu (up 12.7 percent).

Across Virginia, the jobless rate in September stood at 3.2 percent, half the 6.4 percent of a year before, representing 4.21 million in the civilian workforce and 134,700 looking for jobs.

Year-over-year joblessness was down in every Virginia metro area, with rates ranging from 2.4 percent to 3.6 percent.

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