June Unemployment By City: The Damage Worsens

Newspaper headlines focus on the national unemployment rate. But the effects of joblessness are often very local as towns and cities lose tax revenue and have to care for those out of work. Unemployment at the city level worsened in most cases in June, putting more and more pressure on local supports.

“Unemployment rates were lower in June than a year earlier in 224 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 127 areas, and unchanged in 21 areas,” the Census Bureau reported.

The most troubled areas are those that have been troubled since the start of the recession. With each passing month, the intransigence of joblessness in these areas makes it more likely that employment may not improve much there for years. These cities and towns are black holes where few businesses operate any longer, leaving locals to fend for themselves. As is true in many places where jobs are scarce, unemployment benefits have disappeared for the longer-term unemployed, which means many are destitute. Municipal governments are swamped by their needs, even as joblessness has sapped their tax bases.

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