Jobless rates drop in many metro areas, still high in border towns

Many metro areas across the country saw unemployment rates fall in March, according to data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Jobless rates were lower in 306 of the 372 metro areas last month, the agency reported.

The region with the highest drop in unemployment since March 2012 was Yuba City, Calif., which is about 45 miles north of Sacramento. The area saw its jobless rate decline 2.9 percentage points, falling to 16.9%.

Border towns, however, continue struggling with high unemployment. The agricultural city of El Centro, Calif., 100 miles east of San Diego, notched the second-highest jobless rate in March -- 23.7%

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Yuma, Ariz., another border city, had the highest unemployment rate: 26%, a 3.3 percentage point increase from the year before. 

Of areas with populations greater than 1 million, the Riverside area ranked first for highest unemployment rate. The Inland Empire was among the hardest-hit regions of the state when the housing market crashed, halting the frenetic pace of construction during boom times. 

The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario region had a jobless rate of 10.5% in March. 

The federal agency also reported that 202 metro areas had unemployment rates lower than the 7.6% U.S. unemployment rate.

The figures for the metro areas are not seasonally adjusted.  


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