The unemployment rate in greater Waterbury and the Norwich-New London saw a larger decrease during the past year than Connecticut’s other large metropolitan areas, and the state’s lowest unemployment rate can be found in Danbury, according to new data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Danbury was the only one of the state’s six largest metro region to crack the top 200 for lowest unemployment rate, earning a spot at number 168.

The year-over-year unemployment data shows that unemployment rates were lower in January 2016 than a year earlier in 333 of 387 metropolitan areas in the U.S., higher in 43 areas, and unchanged in 11 areas. In Connecticut, the six major metropolitan areas all saw a decline in the unemployment rate.chart

Nationwide, the unemployment rate dropped eight-tenths of a point, from 6.1 percent in January 2015 to 5.3 percent in January 2016.  Only one Connecticut region – Danbury – had a lower unemployment rate, at 5.1 percent.  Generally in Connecticcut, the larger the unemployment rate in January 2015, the larger the drop over the following year.

The one percent drop in unemployment in Waterbury and Norwich-New London-Westerly ranked each region tied for 124th for the largest drop in the nation.  Also reaching the top 200 for the largest reduction in unemployment was the Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford area, ranking 197th with a drop of 0.7 percent, from 6.7 percent to 6.0 percent.

Even with the drop in unemployment, Waterbury’s jobless rate is the highest among the state’s major urban areas, at 7.4 percent. Bureau-of-Labor-Statistics

In this year’s rankings, Waterbury was number 342 with an unemployment rate of 7.4 percent. Norwich-New London-Westerly was at number 295 with an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent.  New Haven and Hartford-West Hartford-West Hartford were tied at number 263 with an unemployment rate of 6.0 percent, and Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk at number 235 with an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent, down from 6.3 percent a year ago.

Ames, Iowa, and Boulder, Colo., had the lowest unemployment rates in January, 2.5 percent each. El Centro, Calif., had the highest unemployment rate, 19.2 percent. A total of 187 areas had January jobless rates below the U.S. rate of 5.3 percent, 184 areas had rates above it, and 16 areas had rates equal to that of the nation.

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