American cities losing the most jobs
The economy has begun its slow recovery from the Great Recession, and with it, the labor market is showing signs of improving as well. The unemployment rate fell from 9.5 percent in June 2009 to 8.2 percent in June 2012. Like the country as a whole, most major metropolitan areas have begun to recover.
Others, however, actually have taken a turn for the worse. Ten metro areas from all over the country had at least a 5 percent decrease in the number of employed people since the summer of 2009, when national unemployment was close to its worst point. 24/7 Wall St. looked at the 10 metropolitan areas with the largest decline in employment between June 2009, near the peak of the recession, and June 2012.
Of the 10 metro areas on our list, five are in California and the Southwest (Arizona, Utah or Nevada) -- parts of the country that were hit particularly hard by the subprime mortgage crisis. These states have had the highest unemployment rates in the country since the recession began, and they continue to founder today. In fact, for Nevada and California, things have gotten even worse relative to the rest of the country. Unemployment in Nevada has increased from 11.8 percent in June 2009 to 11.9 percent in June 2012, going from third worst in the country to the worst.
However, among the metropolitan areas with the biggest declines in the number of employed people, the unemployment rate has only increased substantially in a handful of these regions. In some cases, it actually declined. In St. George, Utah, for example, the unemployment rate has fallen from 9.9 percent in June 2009 to 7.6 percent in June 2012. The reason has to do with the number of people looking for work. In St. George, Prescott, Ariz., and Michigan City, Ind., the labor force -- comprised of the number of people employed and those looking for employment -- has fallen by more than 5 percent, as people have either given up their job search or have left the area.