Metro Unemployment Rates Down Year Over Year

WASHINGTON (CN) – Unemployment rates in the majority of metropolitan areas in the United States were lower in November than they were a year earlier, the government announced.

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said last week that jobless rates were lower in 271 of the 387 metropolitan areas, higher in 90 , and about the same in 26 areas.

“This is not a new phenomenon,” said Brian Hannon, an economist in the bureau’s local area unemployment statistics program.

“I looked back to monthly data since 2011 and that’s been true the entire time period. During the last recession, rates typically peaked in metropolitan areas in 2009 and 2010. They’ve generally been falling since then. The over-the-year change being negative in a majority of areas- this has been true since at least January 2011,” Hannon said.

The bureau found that 36 areas had jobless rates of less than 3.0 percent and four areas had rates of at least 10.0 percent.

Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 303 metropolitan areas, decreased in 73, and was unchanged in 11. The national unemployment rate in November was 4.4 percent, down from 4.8 percent a year earlier.

Locally, cities like Savannah, Georgia, are experiencing growth, which local business owner Brady King said helps contribute to his company’s hiring process.

“We’ve increased employment in the last year and business has grown, for sure,” said King, CEO and founder of Soap on a Rope, a large-scale window cleaning business in the Southeast. “Savannah is becoming known as a tourism destination and a good place to live. The city has always been known for its history, but now we’re becoming known for our hotels, our restaurants, our culture. People from New York City and other big cities are moving here now.”

King explained that his business and employee count are growing, as Savannah and the Southeast are recovering from the financial crisis and  people have more discretionary income. “Our work schedule is getting busier and busier. As we continue to get more contracts in the pipeline, we hire more people at our company to keep up with this supply and demand.”