Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Top 5 Metro Areas for Lowest Jobless Rates

According to today's release from the BLS, therse are Top 5 Metro Areas with the lowest April unemployment rates (3 of the 5 are in Montana):

1) Billings, Montana: 1.7%
2) Logan, Utah: 1.9%
3 (tie)
Huntsville, Alabama: 2.1%
Missoula, Montana: 2.1%
5) Great Falls, Montana 2.2%

16 Comments:

At 5/30/2007 11:39 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Well what do you know?!?!

Makes one wonder what these five cities have that cities like New York, Detroit, Chicago, or Houston for instance don't have...

I wonder what sort of graphical plot one could turn up using US Census data and BLS data would turn up...

Something I should look into...

 
At 5/30/2007 12:55 PM, Anonymous Walt G. said...

"Makes one wonder what these five cities have that cities like New York, Detroit, Chicago, or Houston for instance don't have..."

No people. Montana has 1 million people in the whole state and Michigan has 10 million people. It’s kind of hard to be homeless in a frozen corn field (or cow pasture or whatever Montana has). There are probably more homeless people in the Detroit MSA than unemployed people in Montana.

Michigan's unemployment rate could plummet to zero if all the unemployed people left the state. Now there’s an idea, just send them to Montana.

 
At 5/31/2007 3:24 AM, Blogger juandos said...

walt g. says: "No people. Montana has 1 million people in the whole state and Michigan has 10 million people"...

Well walt g. you may be right and it may merely be a simple case of numbers but somehow I think its a wee bit more complicated than that...

Somehow I think crime rates, quality and quantity of educated people, and core moral values just might possibly also play a part in the differences...

Mind you though I'm just speculating here...

 
At 5/31/2007 6:34 AM, Anonymous Walt G. said...

Juandos,

Which is the cause and which is the effect? Does crime cause unemployment or unemployment cause crime?

How about support systems for people out of work in sparsely populated states? You might not want to stick around in Montana or Wyoming if you are unemployed.

Are you saying people in the big cities are immoral? I’m not sure how to measure morality to answer that question. But, living conditions in a state with 6 people per square mile (Montana) will probably not be the same as a state with 175 people square mile (Michigan).

As far as unemployment numbers, 10 new Wal-Mart stores in Montana could drastically change their unemployment numbers, whereas in Michigan the employment gain would probably be lost when rounding-off the unemployment statistic.

Michigan should try to improve their desirability for employers, but they can’t realistically be compared to Montana. You might successfully cross a small lake in a little rowboat, but you can’t repeat that success if you tried to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

 
At 5/31/2007 9:22 AM, Anonymous Bob Wright said...

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2005 populations of the listed cities and Flint, Michigan are:

Billings 98,721
Logan 47,357
Huntsville 166,313
Missoula 62,923
Great Falls 56,338

Flint 118,551

Flint's unemployment rate according to the BLS table is 8.1%.

Huntsville, with 47,762 more people than Flint has an unemployment rate of only 2.1%.

Billings has only 19,830 less people than Flint.

 
At 5/31/2007 10:32 AM, Anonymous Bob Wright said...

If "no people" were the answer, why does El Centro, CA, with a 2005 population of 39,636 [according to the U.S. Census Bureau] rank #369 out of 369 MSAs with an unemployment rate of 16.3%

 
At 5/31/2007 11:41 AM, Anonymous Walt G. said...

"If "no people" were the answer, why does El Centro, CA, with a 2005 population of 39,636 [according to the U.S. Census Bureau] rank #369 out of 369 MSAs"

Too many unemployed people that are unwilling to move to a place with a better job market? If it's not the denominator, it has to be the numerator. Right?

 
At 5/31/2007 11:50 AM, Anonymous Bob Wright said...

walt g:

"If it's not the denominator, it has to be the numerator. Right?"

This is too oblique for me.

I don't understand what you are saying.

I'm wondering if population has anything to do with it at all.

I'm not convinced it's in either the numerator or denominator.

 
At 5/31/2007 11:55 AM, Anonymous Bob Wright said...

walt g:

" Michigan's unemployment rate could plummet to zero if all the unemployed people left the state. "

If this happened, all the federal, state, and local employees servicing the unemployed in Michigan would then be unemployed and our unemployment rate would still not be zero.

 
At 5/31/2007 12:08 PM, Anonymous Walt G. said...

I’m sorry Bob Wright,

I’m being facetious. There is no easy answer. There are just too many variables to the unemployment problem that complicates the comparison between cities and states. I’m the skeptical type, so when someone cites percentages I automatically think “percentage of what”?

Thinking strictly hypothetically, if everyone who is unemployed in Michigan sees the low unemployment numbers in the western states and goes there, what happens to the percentages in the two states if no new jobs are created? Is there an unemployment problem or a failure to relocate problem?

 
At 5/31/2007 12:21 PM, Anonymous Bob Wright said...

walt g:

I think it's a "failure to relocate" problem.

And moving from the hypothetical to the existential, my 20 year old daughter and I talked about her doing this very thing this coming July. She is tentatively planning on moving to Nashville to continue her education and look for meaningful employment.

 
At 5/31/2007 12:51 PM, Anonymous Walt G. said...

bob wright,

I agree. A good skill set with an ability and desire to move to the work would solve a lot of the unemployment problems.

I love Tennessse and usually spend two or three weeks a year there. I consider it my second home. I'll be in Townsend the last two weeks of August, and in Nashville Opryland Hotel for New Years'.

 
At 5/31/2007 9:00 PM, Blogger juandos said...

walt g. says: "Does crime cause unemployment or unemployment cause crime?"...

No, only criminals cause crime - unemployement is no excuse to act like a criminal...

"How about support systems for people out of work in sparsely populated states?"...

Support systems?!?! Are we a socialist nation now? Isn't the phrase, "support system" just a euphamism for taking from those that have and giving to those that don't? Any pathetic excuse will do...

"How about support systems for people out of work in sparsely populated states?"...

Hmmm, how else would one explain the difference in crime rates per 100,000 people?

Are you saying that just because population density might be higher in one place versus another that's a way to rationlize crime?

"Michigan should try to improve their desirability for employers, but they can’t realistically be compared to Montana"...

Well I don't buy into that for a second...

Michigan/Detroit's socialist and spendthrift ways are the reason businesses either leave the state or don't come into the state...

If Montana's politicos follows the sordid and sleazy path that Michigan's politicos have done for a couple of generations that state to regardless of how sparsely populated it is will end up in the same condition...

 
At 6/01/2007 7:09 AM, Anonymous Walt G. said...

Juandos,

I'm not rationalizing anything, and I'm not discussing how things should be. I am discussing how things are.

• Unemployment causes poverty and poverty causes crime. Pretty well accepted as fact. You can make your own mind up whether it’s true or not.
• Support systems exist. Should they? I don’t know.
• More people, more crime. Should it be that way? No. But, that’s one of the reasons many people have historically liked small-town and rural living. It’s nothing new.
• What is “sordid and sleazy”? Name calling isn’t facts that I can answer. Do you have examples?

 
At 6/14/2007 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is because some people have a strong work ethic and some people do not.

 
At 12/04/2008 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are looking at the rate they pay the laid off, not rate of unemployed. The problem isn't unemployed. Those stats aren't that bad, it's the what the insurance pays those that unfortunately get laid off.

Maybe you should check the education statistics in Montana. I'm sure they have the same education available, if not better than many states with big cities.

From there you can check the crime rate, which I imagine isn't as high as other states. However suicide might be, since the laid off are compensated so poorly by unemployment insurance.

I'm pretty sure the people in Montana would not like a bunch of Walmart stores filling up their beautiful streets. They generally try to avoid city sprawl.

If you build more Walmarts, then have fewer people to sell to, well, you will probably shut down eventually and then have to lay off people. So there goes your big idea.

Here's the problem. People move to Montana thinking they want to build a home here. Well it is not very populated, and so jobs are hard to come by. So they open a new resteraunt in town - hoping to live out their dreams of making their hobby a profiting venture. Well times get tough and you have to shut down. Suprise. I think we have found the culprit. Lay off some more people.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home