Largest Cities in U.S. Finally See Unemployment Rates Below 10%

Unemployment rates in each of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas dipped below 10% in February for the first time since the pandemic started as the economic recovery gathered momentum, government data released this week showed.

Los Angeles and New York City continue to have the highest jobless rates among the 51 metro areas with a 2010 Census population of at least 1 million. In February the unemployment rates in Los Angeles and New York were 9.9% and 9.8%, respectively, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Still, the rate in New York is 6 percentage points higher than the same month last year, while it’s 5.6 points higher in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Salt Lake City is the only large metro area where the number of people employed is little changed from last year. The jobless rate there is 3.6%.

Employment declined in the other 50 metropolitan areas from a year earlier with the largest percentage decreases in Las Vegas, Orlando, and Los Angeles, areas hard hit by the lack of tourists and vacationers.

Largest Cities in U.S. Finally See Unemployment Rates Below 10%

The pandemic’s effect was strong enough that in 33 of the largest 51 metros, employment remains below the level seen five years earlier. And, in Buffalo, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Hartford and Rochester, more people were employed 10 years ago than today.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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