Friday, March 26, 2010

Payroll Employment in "Sweet 16" Metropolitan Areas

If your NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament bracket looks as bad as mine at this point, you might also take interest in discussing something else about college basketball. This week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) put each metropolitan areas of the "Sweet 16" schools head-to-head by comparing their January payroll employment levels.

Who came out on top?

West Virginia University, located Morgantown, is part of the West Virginia metropolitan area (MSA). The MSA registered the largest increase in payroll employment over the past 12 months (1.7%). The largest over-the-year decrease in employment among the Sweet 16 metros was San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, California (‑5.3%). This metropolitan area includes Moraga, California, home of the St. Mary's Gaels.

Beyond the Sweet 16, 346 U.S. metropolitan areas reported over-the-year decreases in January payroll employment, while 24 reported increases, and 1 remained unchanged.

The largest over-the-year increases in employment among metropolitan areas nationwide were reported in Ocean City, New Jersey (5.8%); Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, Washington (3.6%); Sandusky, Ohio (3.1%); Kokomo, Indiana (2.4%); and Bismarck, North Dakota (2.0%).

The largest over-the-year losses in employment were reported in Odessa, Texas (‑10.1%); Grand Junction, Colorado, and Yuma, Arizona (‑9.2% each); and Steubenville-Weirton, Ohio-West Virginia (-8.9%).For more information, see the full press release. (

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