The 11 metropolitan areas with the largest populations are subdivided into 34 divisions identified as independent centers of employment. Collected in November 2011, the most recent employment data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the metropolitan area consisting of Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, California reported the highest unemployment rate in the country at 11.5 percent. The metropolitan area of Framingham, Massachusetts represents the other end of the rate spectrum reporting an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent; the lowest of all major metropolitan areas in the country.
Of the 34 employment centers, all but 3 reported over-the-year unemployment rate decreases for the month. Additionally, two areas reported over-the-year rate increases and one experience no change. The largest decline in the unemployment rate for all major metro areas occurred in Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Florida, dropping 3.2 percent. Two other metropolitan areas, West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach (-2.2 percent) and Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Michigan (-2.1 percent), experienced rate declines of over 2 percent.
Including all 372 metropolitan areas nationwide, 239 experienced an over-the-year increase in employment between November 2010 and November 2011. During the same period, 127 areas registered employment decreases and 6 areas recorded no change. Those metropolitan areas experiencing the highest employment gains during this 12-month period include Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (87,900 jobs), Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (57,300 jobs), Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Massachusetts-New Hampshire (50,400 jobs), and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington (46,100 jobs). The greatest employment decrease of the major metropolitan areas included Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Georgia (-13,100 jobs), Indianapolis-Carmel, Indiana (-6,300 jobs), and Richmond, Virginia (-6,000 jobs).