Unemployment rates were higher in February than a year earlier in 383 of the 389

metropolitan areas, lower in 4 areas, and unchanged in 2 areas, the U.S. Bureau 
of Labor Statistics reported today. A total of 18 areas had jobless rates of at 
least 10.0 percent and 48 areas had rates of less than 4.0 percent. Nonfarm
payroll employment decreased over the year in 206 metropolitan areas, increased
in 1 area, and was essentially unchanged in 182 areas. The national unemployment 
rate in February was 6.6 percent, not seasonally adjusted, up from 3.8 percent
a year earlier.

This news release presents statistics from two monthly programs. The civilian
labor force and unemployment data are based on the same concepts and definitions
as those used for the national household survey estimates. These data pertain
to individuals by where they reside. The employment data are from an establishment
survey that measures nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry. These
data pertain to jobs on payrolls defined by where the establishments are located.
For more information about the concepts and statistical methodologies used by
these two programs, see the Technical Note.

Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In February, El Centro, CA, had the highest unemployment rate, 15.9 percent,
while Logan, UT-ID, had the lowest rate, 2.6 percent. A total of 247 areas had 
February jobless rates below the U.S. rate of 6.6 percent, 140 areas had rates
above it, and 2 areas had rates equal to that of the nation. (See table 1.)

The largest over-the-year unemployment rate increase in February occurred in 
Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI (+10.6 percentage points). Rates rose over the year
by at least 5.0 percentage points in an additional 14 areas. The largest over-
the-year jobless rate decrease occurred in El Centro, CA (-2.2 percentage points).

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more,
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA, and New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA,
had the highest unemployment rates in February, 9.9 percent and 9.8 percent,
respectively. Birmingham-Hoover, AL, and Salt Lake City, UT, had the lowest 
jobless rates among the large areas, 3.5 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.
Fifty large areas had over-the-year unemployment rate increases, the largest
of which was in New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (+6.0 percentage points).
The only rate decrease from a year earlier occurred in Cleveland-Elyria, OH 
(-0.5 percentage point).

Metropolitan Division Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Eleven of the most populous metropolitan areas are made up of 38 metropolitan
divisions, which are essentially separately identifiable employment centers.
In February, the highest unemployment rates among the divisions were in Los
Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA, 10.9 percent, and New York-Jersey City-White 
Plains, NY-NJ, 10.8 percent. Nashua, NH-MA, had the lowest division rate, 3.5
percent, closely followed by Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI, 3.6 percent.
(See table 2.)

Thirty-seven metropolitan divisions had over-the-year unemployment rate
increases in February, while one area had no change. The largest over-the-year
rate increase was in New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ (+7.1 percentage

Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In February, 206 metropolitan areas had over-the-year decreases in nonfarm
payroll employment, 1 had an increase, and 182 were essentially unchanged.
The largest over-the-year employment decreases occurred in New York-Newark-
Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (-1,113,600), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 
(-738,400), and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (-394,300). The largest 
over-the-year percentage losses in employment occurred in Kahului-Wailuku-
Lahaina, HI (-26.2 percent), Odessa, TX (-17.9 percent), and Midland, TX 
(-17.5 percent). The over-the-year increase in employment occurred in Ocean
City, NJ (+4,100, or +11.9 percent). (See table 3.)

Over the year, nonfarm employment declined in 50 metropolitan areas with a
2010 Census population of 1 million or more, while employment was essentially
unchanged in 1 area. The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in 
employment in these large metropolitan areas occurred in Las Vegas-Henderson-
Paradise, NV (-13.8 percent), Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL (-12.5 percent), 
and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA (-11.7 percent). 

Metropolitan Division Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In February, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in 35 metropolitan divisions
and was essentially unchanged in 3 divisions over the year. The largest over-
the-year decrease in employment among the metropolitan divisions occurred in 
New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ (-861,300), followed by Los Angeles-
Long Beach-Glendale, CA (-557,200), and Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights,
IL (-330,200). (See table 4.)

The largest over-the-year percentage decreases in employment occurred in 
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA (-13.3 percent), Los 
Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA (-12.1 percent), and New York-Jersey City-
White Plains, NY-NJ (-11.9 percent).

The State Employment and Unemployment news release for March is
scheduled to be released on Friday, April 16, 2021, at 10:00 a.m.
(ET). The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release
for March is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, April 28, 2021,
at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

|											 |
|                Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on February 2021                 |
|                        Establishment and Household Survey Data			 |
|											 |
| BLS has continued to review all estimation and methodological procedures for the	 |
| establishment survey, which included the review of data, estimation processes, the	 |
| application of the birth-death model, and seasonal adjustment. Business births and	 |
| deaths cannot be adequately captured by the establishment survey as they occur. 	 |
| Therefore, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program uses a model to account	 |
| for the relatively stable net employment change generated by business births and	 |
| deaths. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the relationship between business births 	 |
| and deaths is no longer stable. Typically, reports with zero employment are not 	 |
| included in estimation. For the January final and February preliminary estimates,	 |
| CES included a portion of these reports in the estimates and made modifications to	 |
| the birth-death model. In addition for both months, the establishment survey 		 |
| included a portion of the reports that returned to reporting positive employment	 |
| from reporting zero employment. For more information, see 				 |
| www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesbd.htm.							 |
|											 |
| In the establishment survey, workers who are paid by their employer for all or any	 |
| part of the pay period including the 12th of the month are counted as employed, even	 |
| if they were not actually at their jobs. Workers who are temporarily or permanently	 |
| absent from their jobs and are not being paid are not counted as employed, even if	 |
| they are continuing to receive benefits. The length of the reference period does vary	 |
| across the respondents in the establishment survey; one-third of businesses have a	 |
| weekly pay period, slightly over 40 percent a bi-weekly, about 20 percent semi-	 |
| monthly, and a small amount monthly.							 |
|											 |
| For the February 2021 estimates of household employment and unemployment from the	 |
| Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program, BLS continued to implement 	 |
| level-shift outliers in the employment and/or unemployment inputs to the state	 |
| models, based on statistical evaluation of movements in each area's inputs. Both	 |
| the Current Population Survey inputs, which serve as the primary inputs to the LAUS	 |
| models, and the nonfarm payroll employment and unemployment insurance claims 		 |
| covariates were examined for outliers. The resulting implementation of level shifts	 |
| preserved movements in the published estimates that the models otherwise would have	 |
| discounted, without requiring changes to how the models create estimates at other	 |
| points in the time series.								 |
|											 |
| The "Frequently asked questions" document at 						 |
| www.bls.gov/covid19/employment-situation-covid19-faq-february-2021.htm extensively	 |
| discusses the impact of a misclassification in the household survey on the national	 |
| estimates for February 2021. Despite the considerable decline in its degree relative	 |
| to prior months, this misclassification continued to be widespread geographically,	 |
| with BLS analysis indicating that most states again were affected to at least some	 |
| extent. However, according to usual practice, the data from the household survey are	 |
| accepted as recorded. To maintain data integrity, no ad hoc actions are taken to	 |
| reclassify survey responses. Hence, the household survey estimates of employed and	 |
| unemployed people that serve as the primary inputs to the state models were affected	 |
| to varying degrees by the misclassification, which in turn affected the official 	 |
| LAUS estimates for February 2021. Similar misclassifications had occurred in the 	 |
| household survey from March 2020 through January 2021 (see 				 |
| www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-and-response-on-the-employment-	 |
| situation-news-release.htm#summaries).						 |
|											 |
| Household data for substate areas are controlled to the employment and unemployment	 |
| totals for their respective model-based areas. Hence, the preliminary February and	 |
| revised January estimates for substate areas reflect the use of level-shift outliers,	 |
| where implemented, in the inputs for their model-based control areas. The substate	 |
| area estimates also were impacted by misclassification in the household survey, in	 |
| proportion to the impacts of the misclassifications on the data for their model-based	 |
| control areas.									 |
|											 |
| Household data for Puerto Rico are not modeled, but rather are derived from a monthly  |
| household survey similar to the Current Population Survey. The Puerto Rico Department  |
| of Labor has reported a misclassification in its household survey since May 2020 	 |
| similar in nature to the misclassification in the Current Population Survey, which 	 |
| has affected the local area data proportionally.					 |