Twin Cities has lowest unemployment of any major U.S. metro

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Susan Lesch vis Wikimedia
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A slew of recent lists has named us snobby and brainy, bike-friendly and outdoorsy. But here's a ranking that carries a little more weight, and comes backed by harder data: The Twin Cities has the lowest unemployment of any major U.S. metro area, according to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Just 4.7 percent of Minneapolis-St. Paul area residents are looking for work, which is a low enough figure to dethrone former list-topper Oklahoma City, now in second place.

The least-employed major metro -- that's an area with more than 1 million residents -- is Memphis, Tenn., which sits at the bottom of the list, in slot 49, with 9.5 percent. Compare all these numbers with the national unemployment rate of 7.6 percent.

Other low-performing metros include the nation's three largest cities: New York is ranked 37th on the list, with 7.9 percent unemployment, and followed by Los Angeles with 8.3 and Chicago with 9.1. On the other side of the spectrum, here's the top ten, based on data from May:

RankMetropolitan AreaRate
1 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
4.7
2 Oklahoma City, OK 5.0
3 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 5.2
4 Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX 5.4
5 Birmingham-Hoover, AL 5.5
6 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 5.6
7 Columbus, OH 6.0
7 Richmond, VA 6.0
7 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA 6.0
10 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH 6.1
10 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 6.1


For even lower unemployment rates, turn to smaller cities -- most of which happen to be our neighbors. Topping the overall metropolitan area list is Bismarck, North Dakota, which has just 2.4 percent unemployment. The rest of the top five boasts Fargo, Iowa City, Sioux Falls, and Ames, Iowa.

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