Joblessness in the Washington metropolitan area declined from 5.6 percent in March 2012 to 5.2 percent in March 2013, according to new figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of a general improvement being seen in most areas across the nation.
The percentage figure represented just under 3.2 million residents of the metropolitan area employed and 165,400 looking for work during the month. Monthly figures were reported May 2.
In Northern Virginia, the jobless rate dropped from 4.4 percent in February to 4 percent in March.
In Prince William County, 220,970 people were employed and 10,296 were unemployed in March, a jobless rate of 4.5 percent. That’s a slight drop from 4.8 percent in February.
The unemployment rate in Manassas was 6 percent in March and in Manassas Park the rate was 4.8 percent.
Nationally, 306 of 372 metro areas saw lower unemployment rates in March compared to a year before, while 44 reported higher rates and 22 were unchanged, according to federal data.
The lowest unemployment rate nationally for the month was turned in by Midland, Texas, at 3.1 percent, while the highest rates were reported by Yuma, Ariz., and El Centro, Calif., at 26 percent and 23.7 percent, respectively. Among the 49 metro areas with populations of 1 million or more, the lowest rate was in Oklahoma City, at 4.6 percent, while the highest rate was in Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., at 10.5 percent.
Among Virginia’s metropolitan areas, all had lower rates in March 2013 than a year before, with Charlottesville standing at 4.5 percent, Harrisonburg at 4.9 percent, Winchester at 5.1 percent, Roanoke at 5.4 percent, Blacksburg and Richmond each at 5.6 percent, Hampton Roads at 5.7 percent, Lynchburg at 5.8 percent and Danville at 7.3 percent.
Complete figures are available on the Web site at www.bls.gov.