Unemployment rates are higher in every metropolitan area of the United States than the same time last year for the seventh consecutive month, the government announced on Tuesday. Of the nation's 372 metro areas, 139 have jobless rates above 10 percent, up from just 14 a year ago.
For jobs, the worst place to be is El Centro, Calif., where the unemployment rate is 30.2 percent, followed by Yuma, Ariz. at 26.2 percent. Of metro areas with populations above one million, Detroit continues to outpace other urban areas, with both the highest unemployment rate (17.7 percent) and the largest percentage-point increase over last year (+8.4).
The metropolitan unemployment rates from the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics are not seasonally adjusted, meaning the numbers could fluctuate in ways that don't say anything about a local economy's performance. (The national non-adjusted rate is 9.7 percent; the adjusted rate, the one everybody talks about, is 9.4 percent.) The department notes in its report that El Centro and Yuma, while battered by the economic downturn, are also "highly agricultural and experience extreme weather during summer months."
"Seasonal patterns are dramatically different throughout the country," BLS spokesman Gary Steinberg told the Huffington Post. He said the BLS doesn't have the resources to make seasonal adjustments in every metro area, so month-to-month fluctuations should be taken with a grain of salt.
Here's a chart from the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics showing the damage: