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The year-over-year jobless rate across the Washington metro area declined in August, according to new federal data, as most regions of the country also continued to show lower year-over-year unemployment.

With 3,468,998 in the civilian workforce and 109,580 looking for work, the Washington area’s jobless rate of 3.2 percent was down from 3.4 percent in August 2018, according to figures reported Oct. 2 by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Washington was one of the 224 metro areas to see lower year-over-year joblessness in August, an improvement from 217 metros in July. August year-over-year rates were higher in 132 areas and unchanged in 32.

Nationally, the non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate of 3.8 percent in August was little changed from a year before.

In August, Portland (Maine) had the lowest unemployment rate among metro areas across the nation, at 1.7 percent, followed by Ames (Iowa) and Burlington (Vt.) at 1.9 percent. The highest rates were found in Yuma (Ariz.) at 23 percent and El Centro (Calif.) at 22.1 percent.

Among the 51 metropolitan areas with a population of a million or more, Birmingham, Boston and Denver shared the lowest jobless rate for August, at 2.6 percent each. Phoenix had the highest, at 4.7 percent.

Among Virginia metro areas outside the Washington region, joblessness rates posted modest declines. Statewide, with 4.3 million in the workforce and about 122,000 looking for jobs, the July unemployment rate of 2.8 percent was down from 3.1 percent a year before.

Full data can be found at www.bls.gov.

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