Unemployment is up in large metro areas

Unemployment rates rose in nearly all large U.S. cities in June as college graduates and many of those still in school began searching for jobs.

The Labor Department said yesterday that unemployment rates rose in 347 large metro areas in June compared with the previous month. They fell in 12 and were unchanged in 13. In May, rates fell in 109 cities and rose in 243.

Unlike the national figures, the metro unemployment data are not adjusted for such seasonal changes. Many of the cities with significant rate increases have large universities where students graduated in June and began looking for work. And many university workers are temporarily unemployed in the summer when the academic year ends.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in June, down from 8.2 percent a year ago. Employers added 195,000 jobs last month. That’s close to the average monthly gain in the first half of this year, of 202,000. Hiring averaged only 180,000 a month in the previous six months.

The city with the nation’s lowest unemployment rate was Bismarck, N.D, where the rate was 2.8 percent, thanks to booming oil expansion going on in North Dakota.

Conversely, Yuma, Ariz., again reported the highest rate at 31.8 percent. Yuma has an extremely heavy population of migrant farm workers who are very fluid.

Detroit, which recently filed for bankruptcy protection, had the highest unemployment rate at 10.3 percent among the 49 cities with a population of than 1 million, that’s up 1.3 percent from the May rate reported at 9%.

Among the large cities, Minneapolis was 5.1 percent, the lowest of any large metropolitan area.

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