The Bureau of Labor Statistics just released the revised March 2012 unemployment numbers for all counties and metropolitan areas (MSAs). The new data show a decrease in the unemployment rate from 10.5 in February to 9.9 in March 2012 for the 14-county Charlotte region. The March unemployment rate for the region also exceeds that of North Carolina (9.6) and South Carolina (8.7). Both North and South Carolina’s unemployment rates decreased as well. On a year-over-year basis, the region’s unemployment rate declined nearly a full percentage point from 10.8 in March 2011.
Continuing a decline from January to February, all of the region’s 14 counties had an unemployment rate decrease from February to March 2012. Counties with the highest unemployment rates in the region continue to be the rural counties of Chester (13.5) and Lancaster (11.6), with Catawba County (11.0), Anson County (10.9) and Cleveland County (10.8) following close behind. The lowest unemployment rates are found in the more urbanized counties of Union (8.2), Cabarrus (9.0), and Mecklenburg (9.5).
In terms of MSAs, the unemployment rate for the Charlotte MSA (9.6) continues to exceed that of all twelve peer cities tracked, with the next highest unemployment rates in San Francisco (8.9), Atlanta (8.7), and Portland, O.R. (8.6).
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.