The Bureau of Labor Statistics just released the revised May 2012 unemployment numbers for all counties and metropolitan areas (MSAs). The new data show an increase in the unemployment rate from 9.4 in April to 9.8 in May for the 14-county Charlotte region. The May unemployment rate for the region exceeds that of North Carolina (9.5) and South Carolina (9.3), both of which increased as well. On a year-over-year basis the region’s unemployment rate declined more than a full percentage point from 10.9 in May 2011.
After four months of consistent declines in unemployment, all of the region’s 14 counties had an unemployment rate increase from April to May, with the exception of York County which decreased just two-tenths of a percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates in the region continue to be the rural counties of Chester (13.7), Lancaster (12.3), and Anson (11.7). The lowest unemployment rates are found in the more urbanized counties of Union (8.0), Cabarrus (9.0), and Mecklenburg (9.6).
In terms of MSAs, the unemployment rate for the Charlotte MSA (9.6) remains the highest of all twelve peer cities tracked, with the next highest unemployment rates in Atlanta (8.6), San Francisco (8.2), Denver (8.1), and Jacksonville, FL (8.0).
About the data: These data are derived through the Bureau of Labor Statistics Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program, a federal-state cooperative effort to produce monthly estimates of employment and unemployment at the sub-national level. Available statistics include the unemployment rate, number of people employed and unemployed, and number of people in the labor force.
The BLS releases preliminary monthly unemployment statistics at the end of the following month (i.e., on a one-month delay) and revised data the following month (ie., on a two-month delay). The Regional Indicators include only the revised figures, meaning that the latest data will be on a two-month delay.