USA | Jul 3, 2022

Big improvement in America’s unemployment rate in May 2022

/ Our Today


Unemployment rates lowered in 385 of the 389 metropolitan areas

The Biden administration is making serious inroads in America’s national unemployment rate with the latest data showing that unemployment in May 2022 fell from 5.5 per cent to 3.4 per cent.

Data just released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the unemployment rates were lower in May 2022 than they were a year earlier in 385 of the 389 metropolitan areas. The BLS reports that unemployment was higher in two metropolitan areas and unchanged in a similar number.

Two areas had rates of at least 10 per cent while a total of 150 areas had rates of unemployment below three per cent. In 122 metropolitan areas, non-farm payroll employment increased over the course of the year, while it remained largely stable in 267 other regions.

The lowest unemployment rate of 1.3 per cent in May 2022 was seen in Mankato-North Mankato, Minnesota, and Rochester, Minnesota, while the highest rate was 14.4 per cent in Yuma, Arizona. Two hundred and sixteen areas in total had May jobless rates below the US rate of 3.4 per cent, while 150 regions had jobless rates higher than the national average of 3.4 per cent and the national rate was matched in 23 locations.

Largest decline in the unemployment

In May 2022, the largest decline in the unemployment rate since the start of the year was realised in El Centro, California (-5.6%). In an additional 13 regions, rates decreased during the year by at least 4.0 per cent.

No region saw an increase in the unemployment rate of more than 0.3 percentage points. Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a population of one million or more according to the 2010 Census, the lowest jobless rate of 1.6 per cent in May was seen in Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI, while the highest rate of 5.5 per cent was seen in Cleveland-Elyria, OH.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Photo:

All 51 large areas experienced reduction in the unemployment rate over the year, the highest of which was in Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA (-4.7%) and the lowest reduction occurred in Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN (-0.3%).

The 38 metropolitan divisions, which are individually identifiable as employment centres, are situated in the 11 of the most populated metropolitan areas. In May, all 38 metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate decreases with Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA, having the largest rate decline (-5.0%).

The smallest rate declines occurred in Elgin, IL, and Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI (-0.3% and -0.4%, respectively). Additionally, the lowest division unemployment rate of 1.8 per cent occurred in San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA, and San Rafael, CA, closely followed by Nashua, NH-MA, 1.9 per cent.

The highest unemployment rate among the divisions of 6.1 per cent was seen in Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, MI.

Non-farm Employment

In May, non-farm payroll employment rose over the year in 122 metropolitan areas while remaining largely flat in 267. The areas with the highest annual employment gains were New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (+509,500), Los Angeles-Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+294,700) and Long Beach-Anaheim, California (+306,800).

The highest improvements in the employment rate over the year were seen in Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ (+12.5%), Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (+9.0%), Hammonton, NJ (+12.5%), and Texas’s Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington region (+7.7%). In 44 metropolitan regions with a 2010 Census population of one million or more, non-farm employment increased during the year, while employment in seven places remained largely stable.

In these large metropolitan regions, Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nevada (+9.0%), Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (+7.7%), and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida (+7.3%) saw the biggest percentage increases in employment over the course of the year.


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