El Centro continued to have the highest unemployment rate in the nation, according to new numbers released Tuesday.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the El Centro Metropolitan Area recorded a preliminary 26.7 percent unemployment rate in February, more than the second highest rate of 23.7 percent in Yuma.
The rate did show a decrease from numbers at the same time last year. The unemployment rate in February 2011 was 27.8 percent.
The unemployment rate is expected to start climbing again as the weather gets warmer and summer approaches. Sources from the state Employment Development Department have said that the unemployment rate increases in the summer, partially due to more people entering the labor force.
For February, though, the El Centro metropolitan area had 20,700 people reportedly unemployed, down slightly from the 20,900 people unemployed in January.
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Overall the state unemployment went up slightly to 11.4 percent, and the national unemployment rate went down to 8.7%