D.C. region again sees lower year-over-year joblessness

The Washington region was part of a majority of U.S. metropolitan areas to see lower year-over-year joblessness in December, according to new federal data.

With just under 3.4 million people in the civilian workforce and 97,000 looking for jobs, the region’s unemployment rate of 2.9 percent was down from 3.3 percent a year before, according to figures reported Jan. 30 by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nationally, 250 metro areas posted year-over-year decreases in unemployment, while rates were higher in 116 areas and unchanged in 22 others.

The national non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was down from 3.9 percent a year before.

Among all metro areas, the lowest jobless rate in January was in Ames, Iowa, at 1.4 percent. The highest rates were found in El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., at 17.3 percent and 15.4 percent, respectively.

Among the nation’s 51 metro areas with populations of more than 1 million, the lowest jobless rate was found in Nashville (2.3 percent) and the highest in Cleveland (4.9 percent).

In Virginia, all metropolitan areas showed lower year-over-year unemployment, with rates ranging from 2.2 percent in Charlottesville to 3 percent in Hampton Roads.

Statewide, the jobless rate of 2.6 percent for December was down from 3.3 percent a year before, representing 4.33 million in the civilian workforce and 113,000 looking for jobs.

For full data, see the Website at www.bls.gov.