Minnesota employers shed several thousand jobs during a dismal start to 2014, but the state's labor market rebounded in May as the unemployment rate slid to 4.6 percent—the lowest level in seven years.
Now, new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the Twin Cities also had a good month. In fact, the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro had the lowest jobless rate of all major U.S. cities in May.
The Twin Cities' unemployment rate was 4 percent in May—edging out the Austin, Texas area, which ranked second with a rate of 4.1 percent—to top the list of U.S. metro areas with a population of at least 1 million.
Columbus, Ohio and Oklahoma City tied for third with 4.4. percent, followed by Boston and San Antonio, which both had an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent. By contrast, Detroit; Providence, Rhode Island; and Riverside/San Bernardino, California all tied for last place with an unemployment rate of 8 percent. (See the full list below.)
Many cities saw an improvement last month. The BLS said that unemployment rates were lower in May than they were a year earlier in 357 of the 372 metropolitan areas it measured, including smaller U.S. cities. Bismarck, North Dakota topped the list that contains smaller cities, with a 2.2 percent jobless rate. It's worth noting, however, that there remain significant challenges in Minnesota's labor market, including underemployment and long-term unemployed.
SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Rates shown are a percentage of the labor force. Data refer to place of residence. Estimates for the current month are subject to revision the following month.