The economy added 315,000 jobs in August, as the unemployment rate rose to 3.7%. It was 3.5% in July. Unemployment by metro area is released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics about one month after the national figure, so the information on America’s cities for July was just released.
In July, unemployment dropped in 389 cities, rose in five, and was flat in one. It is a testament to the remarkable strength of the U.S. economy and how virtually no part of this economy has been left behind. Rarely, if ever, had the jobless rate been so low in such a large number American cities.
Another sign of the strength of the jobs market is that 200 cities have a jobless rate below 3.8%. In seven cities, the rate was only 1.7%, the lowest in America. These were Burlington-South Burlington, VT; Fargo, ND-MN; Logan, UT-ID; Mankato-North Mankato, MN; Portsmouth, NH-ME; Rochester, MN; and Sioux Falls, SD. The low jobless rates are centered in northern New England and the Plains states. Also, none of the cities with jobless rates were large, or even mid sized by most standards. Additionally, most of these cities have a high percentage of white residents.
One a raw number basis, virtually everyone in these cities has a job. The tiny number of people who do not may well be between jobs and will not have one for an extremely short time. Many might be called “jobless, between jobs.”
As an example, only 2,225 of the people in the workforce in Burlington are not employed. The figure in Fargo is 2,503. The figure in Sioux Falls is 2,776. Together, among the seven cities, only about 15,000 people do not have jobs. The total is also about the same number who are out of work in Salt Lake City.
Are these unemployment rates likely to rise soon? Almost certainly not. As the national jobless rate stays low, these cities will stay lower.
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