June 3, 2009

The 13 unlucky cities with the highest unemployment

Posted: 04:21 PM ET

By Julianne Pepitone, contributing writer YORK ( - There were 13 unlucky cities with unemployment rates topping 15% in April, and another 93 saw joblessness climb above 10%, according to a government report released Wednesday.

By comparison, only seven cities reported unemployment rates above 10% in April 2008, the Labor Department said in its report.

April 2009 was the fourth consecutive month that unemployment rose in all of the nation's 372 metropolitan areas compared with the same month in the prior year, the report said.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases monthly metropolitan-area data, lagging behind national unemployment statistics which this month showed the jobless rate was 8.9% in April. A new nationwide report for May comes out Friday.

The April report is slightly better than March's survey, which said that 109 metropolitan areas reached 10% or higher, with 18 of those at 15% or higher. The data are not seasonally adjusted and that could account for some of the difference, the BLS said.

Jobless in Elkhart: 'collective consciousness'

Elkhart-Goshen, Ind., posted the biggest year-over-year increase in April - 12.7 percentage points.

Residents are feeling the crunch of the 17.8% unemployment rate.

"It's on the news and in your ears here," said resident Alan Steele, business adviser at Indiana Small Business Development Center.

"It's part of the collective consciousness," he added. "I truly can't recall the last time I went through a workday without hearing about the job situation here."

Layoffs and closures in manufacturing have hit the city hard, Steele says. He said he sees many people interested in starting their own businesses, or ramping up time spent on side projects.

"Losing your job is not the best reason to start a business, which we tell them," he said. " But in some cases they're just trying to take control of the future."

Other hard-hit cities

El Centro, Calif., continued to have the highest rate of any metropolitan area at 26.9%. The town is located near the Mexican border and relies on agricultural employment, according to economists. As a result, the area's jobless rate tends to rise and fall depending on the farming season.

For areas with 1 million or more residents, Detroit was the worst hit, posting a rate of 13.6%. Portland, Ore., showed the largest increase, jumping to 11.6% from 4.7% in April 2008.

The least affected of the big cities was New Orleans, at 5.3%. At 3.2, Iowa City, Iowa, reported the lowest overall rate in the country.

The number of metropolitan regions that had unemployment rates under 7% dropped sharply to 117 from 347 in April 2008. Only 31 areas reported unemployment rates below 5% in the current report.

A total of 33 metro areas registered unemployment rates that were at least 6 percentage points higher than a year ago, and another 44 areas' increases were 5 to 5.9 percentage points.

Filed under: Larry King Live

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Michael Hackley USA   June 3rd, 2009 8:56 pm ET

My heart goes out to all who are unemployed.

Dave of Detroit   June 3rd, 2009 9:00 pm ET

Larry-In all seriousness, you don't want to start a column like this right now. I live in Detroit-we have lost 200,000 people to other States and that is the only reason that our unemployment figures haven't syrocketed. Michigan has also lost a lot of people to other States and last I heard , we were "Officially" at 12 plus percent Unemployment figures but that is also deceiving as many have had their benefits run out. The next phase of the Bankruptcy will shut more plants and dealerships and some are expecting an additional 50,000 layoffs. Chrysler is hoping to start producing again in late June but there are still appeals going. GM is just starting so the worst is yet to come. The fact that the Chinese is bidding on the Hummer is even worse news-The Obama Administration could have ordered thousands of HumVees to replace and renew our military needs as it is the chief personal carrier of our military-now China will produce them! Something is very wrong here-We are selling out America-one Industry at a time!

John, San Antonio, TX   June 3rd, 2009 9:58 pm ET

Well, the next time we go to Walmart, why don't we check and make certain that we buy more Chinese or Japanese made products. Oh yes, and we just can't resist those Japanese and Korean made cars. Is it because we think American products are all junk? So let's just keep on doing what we're doing and pretty soon we will be a legitimate third world country and we all will be out of work. Great Plan! Just being sarcastic, right? Not!

Jay   June 3rd, 2009 10:09 pm ET

The people who found jobs was making a decent wage to live on, now many of them have $8.00 hr poverty jobs.

Christopher Currie   June 4th, 2009 10:38 am ET

To Whom It May Concern:

I live and work in Detroit, Michigan. In my opinion Detroit bears the greatest burden in light of recent events concerning the automotive industry companies. Unemployment was already a major problem here and now it is worse. Now that the federal government, via taxpayer money, are majority stakeholders in General Motors, I feel that the engineering and mass-production/assembly resources at GM (and if possible, Chrysler) can and should be used to help design and implement comprehensive mass-transit systems like high speed rail, light rail, and alternative-fuel buses for use both regionally and nationwide. Weren’t the auto factories refitted during World War II to build tanks and such? The American auto industry’s backyard of Michigan would be great to start pilot projects connecting cities with 21st century transit systems.
Public Transit systems help to lessen the overall fuel emissions made by the vehicles we drive. It also helps those who currently can't afford their own vehicle meet family, work and school obligations. It would be a means of bolstering America’s workforce and go a long way toward strengthening the economy. In the midst of public debate on what GM’s restructuring means, I feel that there is a missed opportunity not being explored. The auto companies historically had not supported mass transit if only because it theoretically detracts from their revenue. A governmental “hands off” mantra is not the proper approach to this unique and virtually unprecedented situation.


Christopher Currie
Detroit, MI

Terry, TX   June 4th, 2009 10:27 pm ET

This is going to get worse before it gets better....especially after all these bogus trillions that have been spent.....with no effect. Hey wait till the carbon tax that will hit and affect the companies that are still standing....wait till our president pushes his illegal amnesty thru...that's right out illegal immigration reform.

This is getting real creepy...hold on to your hats....hopefully we only have 48 months of this administration. Time for a change....Next.

Max Ciprut   June 4th, 2009 11:51 pm ET

I have heard Pres, Obama's Cairo speech and as usual people igniore history no wonder solutions are elusive. until 49 AD israel was a jwwish land even though ruled by an arab converted to judaism Herod the Great , a client king of the Romans. To find a solution for the middle east we need to ask a very important question, but first we know who the jews are and whar their ties to the land of Israel is. the second part of the question is who are the Palestinians ,
from 49 ad to the present there has never been a state , or government, carrying that name. after 49 ad the romans rulked the land and we know who they are, then Byzantium ruled the land and we know who they are,then asuccession of rulers european and we know who they are, then Saladin kicked out the europeans and we know who he represented and then a few successions between Christian europeans and arab muslims and we know who they are, getting closer to modern times the Ottoman empire (the Turks) and we know who they are. Under the turks the area comprising syria Lebanon Israel and Gazza were part of the turkish province of syria, then at the end end of WWI witth the sax picot agreement the both sides of the river Jordan fell under the british mandate of Palestine, first time in history even though a conquered political entity ruled from britain by british bureaucrats that the name Palestine appeared, so who were the inhabitants of the area since there was no Palestine prior to the madate. we know ther were a smattering of Jews , Muslim Arabs, Maronite Christians, Greek Orthodox etc To Day there is a vast Arab Muslim Population in the west Bank and Gaza with A smattering of Arab Christians if they want to call themselves Palestinians so be it but the have absolutely no historical fact backed claim to the whole caboudle.Only and Only when they the Arabs accept the historical fact then it for the best of both jews and arabs should have their own state and live in peace. But Then their is a most important historical religious fact that also to be understood. Most religions of the world do not concern themselves with the other religions nor do they claim superiority. The only two that did were Christianity and islam, over the last 2 thousand years christianity has learned to some degree to accept the diversity of religions and the free choice of individuals to participate in whatever satisfies their soul Islam on the other hand is still traped mostly in the vision of its inception even though it has spawned offshoots that have made the transition. the Ishmaeli, the Bahais, the druzes, yet the two main branches being the Sunnis ( more Educated) and the shiites (less educated and more fanatical) are still in the belief that since Mohamed may his soul rest in peace was the last prophet and the Kuran the last word of God the whole world has to bow to his will and there is no acceptance of other visions unless they are precursers of this last event. And That explains why its its nightmarish to them that a land ruled by islam should revert to be ruled by an independent non islamic people and governement.
Until such time as these premises are understood and accepted there will never be a solution in the middle east

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