The Bureau of Labor Statistics did its latest release on unemployment by metropolitan area today. This is a lagging data series, so we’re looking at June. The story is basically that Las Vegas had a pretty rapid decrease in unemployment and the Inland Empire now stands alone as the most unemployed major metro area in the country:
In the 49 metropolitan areas with a Census 2000 population of 1 million or more, the highest unemployment rates in June were registered in Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., 14.2 percent, and Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., 13.8 percent. Fifteen additional large areas posted rates of 10.0 percent or more. The lowest jobless rate among the large areas was recorded in Oklahoma City, Okla., 5.7 percent, followed by Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va., 6.2 percent. Thirty-nine of the large areas reported over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, while 10 areas registered rate increases. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., experienced the largest unemployment rate decrease from June 2010 (-1.5 percentage points). Six other large areas reported rate decreases of at least 1.0 percentage point. The large area with the largest over-the-year jobless rate increase was Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark. (+0.9 percentage point).
But, hey, the DC area still has one of the strongest job markets in the country, especially for people with college degrees. So everyone in the media and political system can continue ignoring this.