Unemployment remains more than 20% in two of America’s metro areas, and above 15% in a number of others. While the recession may be over throughout most of the United States, it lingers in some regions.
The unemployment rate in Yuma, Ariz., is 23.8%. In El Centro, Calif., it is 21.6%. El Centro sits in an area of California in which unemployment in many metro areas is double the national average. In Merced the figure is 14.3%, in Yuba City the figure is 14.5%, in Hanford it is 13.1% and in Visalia it is 13.4%. In several metros close to these, the figure is above 10%. Most of them are inland from San Francisco and the area just south of it, which also happens to be among the nation’s most drought-plagued regions. This means jobs recovery is highly unlikely.
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on metro areas for April, there are a number of other pockets of high unemployment. Among these are the old industrial cities of Illinois, south of Chicago. Unemployment in Decatur is 9.1%. In Danville it is 8.9%, and in Rockford, 9.2%.
Yet another pocket of high unemployment runs from Detroit along the corridor that used to be home to many of the nation’s largest car factories. These include Detroit at 7.9%, Flint at 7.8%, Bay City at 7.7% and Saginaw at 7.5%.
Cities within states that were never deeply damaged by the recession continue to have unemployment rates well below the national average. These include Provo, Utah, at 3%, Midland, Texas, at 3.2% and Odessa, Texas, at 3.9%. Several cities close to these two in Texas have unemployment below 4%. Unemployment across the sparsely populated Northern Plains is also particularly low. The rate in Bismarck, N.D. is 2.6%. In Lincoln, Neb., it is 2.9%, in Des Moines, Iowa, it is 3.9% and in Billings, Mont., 3.3%.