The nationwide unemployment rate is a useful measure of the overall health of the job market. The unemployment rate, however, does not tell us about job quality, or about people who are not actively looking for work but would like to be employed. At a nationwide level, the unemployment rate can also hide large differences between different local job markets. Because these local areas are connected by a common currency, and because it is important that people share in economic prosperity, it is helpful to look at local area unemployment rates, which are published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics three or four weeks after the national unemployment rate is released.
The map below shows how the unemployment rate is changing in different metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). To see details about the current unemployment rate or what area is covered in each MSA, hover or tap the location of interest. Each circle size reflects the percentage point change over the time period highlighted above the chart. The color of the circle shows whether the unemployment rate increased (red, means more people are unemployed and looking for work) or decreased (green, fewer). Gray means unchanged. The data are adjusted for changes due to seasonal activities. The "3M" change is the average of the most recent three months over the average of the previous three months.