Job talk: Unemployment in metro area hits 11 percent in February
Posted 10:31 a.m. Wed., 04.07.10 - Unemployment in the St. Louis area hit 11 percent in February, according to numbers released this morning by the U.S. Department of Labor.
That was an increase of 0.3 percent from January's 10.7 unemployment rate, and continues a slow rise from one year ago when unemployment in the metro area was 9.7 percent.
Unemployment in the state of Missouri broke the two-digit ceiling in February to 10.1 percent, up from 9.9 percent in January and 9.4 percent one year ago, according to the monthly report on metropolitan employment by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Illinois registered a slight decrease to 12 percent in February, down from 12.2 percent in January. But the state's jobless rate is still substantially higher than February 2009, when it stood at 9.4 percent.
Overall, February unemployment was higher than a year ago in 347 of the nation's 372 metropolitan areas, with jobless rates of 15 percent or higher in 29 areas. The national unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, was 10.4 percent; it was 8.9 percent in February 2009.
Three California metro areas once again registered the highest jobless rates in the nation: El Centro, 27.2 percent; Merced, 22.1 percent; and Yuba City, 21.6 percent. More than half of the metro areas reporting rates above 15 percent were in California (13 areas) and Michigan (4 areas).
With 4.6 percent unemployment, Fargo, N.D., once again had the nation's lowest unemployment in February, followed by Lincoln, Neb., with 4.9 percent.
Contact Beacon staff writer Mary Delach Leonard.