The 20 Most Unemployed Cities In America

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First, we brought you America’s cities with the lowest unemployment rates around. It’s good to see that not all of America is struggling to produce jobs for its citizens.But now we’re back with a much darker list: 20 American cities with the worst unemployment rates around. Forged by data from the Bureau of labour Statistics, these cities seriously need to come up with contingency plans before it becomes too late.

After all, no one wants to become the next Camden, New Jersey.

Bend, Oregon: 15.8% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

Tourism is one of Bend's largest sectors. The Mount Bachelor ski resort brings in tourists from all over Oregon, Washington, and California. The nearby Cascade Lakes are also a large draw for tourists. Recreational activities include downhill and cross country skiing, hiking, biking, rafting, golfing, camping, fishing, picnicking, rock climbing, and general sightseeing.

Bend is also home to the Deschutes Brewery, the largest of several microbreweries in the city. Since 2004, Bend has also hosted the Bend Film Festival.

In 2005, Bend's economic profile comprised five industry categories: tourism (7,772 jobs); healthcare and social services (6,062 jobs); professional, scientific and technical services (1,893 jobs); wood products manufacturing (1,798 jobs); and recreation and transportation equipment (1,065 jobs).

Much of Bend's rapid growth in recent years is also due to its attraction as a retirement destination. The rapid population growth has fostered organisations such as Central Oregon Landwatch and Oregon Solutions.

Source: BLS.gov

Monroe, Michigan: 16.0% Unemployment Rate

Monroe is a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, which is an epicentre of the automobile and manufacturing industry.

Source: BLS.gov

Flint, Michigan: 16.3% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

Flint is most known for being the birthplace of General Motors, and the Flint Sit-Down Strike of 1936--37 that played a vital role in the formation of the United Auto Workers. It has also become a symbol of the decline in the auto industry. Flint area native Michael Moore created the 1989 documentary film Roger & Me, dealing with the impact that the closure of several of Flint's General Motors manufacturing plants in the late 1980s had on Flint and the surrounding area's population. The city is often mentioned, and featured at various lengths, in most Moore documentaries.

The headquarters of Citizens Republic Bancorp (formerly known as Citizens Commercial and Savings Bank) has remained in its original location in downtown Flint since its formation in 1871.

Source: BLS.gov

Ocean City, New Jersey: 16.3% Unemployment Rate

Ocean City, New Jersey is a large tourist beach in southern New Jersey. It is known for a large boardwalk featuring rides, shops, and other amusements. Its main industry centres around tourism.

Source: BLS.gov

Muskegon-Norton Shores, Michigan: 16.5% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

Norton Shores might best be described as a suburban environment with a balance of industrial and commercial development. It has also led the county in residential construction permits for the past five years. The city offers educational opportunities from the Mona Shores Public Schools to Muskegon Community College, Baker College and Grand Valley State University.

Agriculture also appears to be a big part of Norton Shores' economy.

Source: BLS.gov

Palm Coast, Florida: 16.6% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

Industrial parks within this town currently house more than 30 mid-size businesses with the largest one, the 'Palm Coast Data' company, employing close to 1,000 people. Flagler County has had one of the highest rates of population growth in the United States since 1990, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census. However, the area was hit extremely hard by the housing bust's recession. In December 2009, it had the worst unemployment rate of the state of Florida's largest metropolitan areas, according to the Bureau of labour Statistics.The unemployment rate was 16.9 per cent.

Source: BLS.gov

Salinas, California: 16.8% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

Salinas is known as the Salad Bowl of America or Salad Bowl of the World. Over 80% of the lettuce grown in the United States is grown in the Salinas Valley. The city's labour force is 54.6% blue collar and 45.4% white collar. According to the 2000 US Census, 24% of the population worked in sales and office occupations, 21.4% worked in management, professional, and related occupations, 16.2% worked in service occupations, 14.9% worked in farming, fishing, and forestry occupations, 14.4% worked in production, transportation, and material moving occupations, and 9.1% worked in construction, extraction, and maintenance occupations. Many believe these numbers are skewed as they do not include a significant portion of farm workers and blue collar workers who are migratory and undocumented, and are present for approximately 9 months of the year.

Source: BLS.gov

Madera-Chowchilla, California: 17.5% Unemployment Rate

Source: BLS.gov

Redding, California: 17.7% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

In recent decades an influx of retirees from the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles seeking lower cost housing and a slower pace of life has caused a shift in the city's economic base towards the service sectors of medical, legal, retail and tourism. However, the unemployment rate is still consistently above the state average, and with few industrial jobs, wages tend to be low.

Source: BLS.gov

Rockford, Illinois: 17.9% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

The Rockford economy has suffered since the decline of the manufacturing industry in the late 1980s. Once a national leader in manufacturing and industry, the focus of the local economy has been forced to change. Many of the 'family-owned' companies that once inhabited Rockford were bought out by larger companies, the larger companies then relocated the products being made to lower wage parts of the United States or sent them overseas altogether. The city's new focus relies on high-technology businesses, tourism generated by outstanding museums and a great park system, and the westward growth of the Chicago metropolitan area.

As of 2006, new commercial and residential development is taking place in the downtown area. The city is also considering plans for a Convention centre, Casino, and Riverwalk. The Main Street Corridor (Illinois Route 2) is also expected to be redeveloped. Construction from the downtown area, south to US Highway 20 was expected to begin in 2007. Plans for 2007 also mark a major renovation of the MetroCentre in downtown Rockford.

Source: BLS.gov

Bakersfield-Delano, California: 18.3% Unemployment Rate

The city's economy relies on agriculture, petroleum extraction and refining, and manufacturing, according to Wikipedia.

Source: BLS.gov

Stockton, California: 18.4% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

Although historically an agriculturally based community, Stockton's economy has since diversified into many other areas. These include telecommunications and manufacturing among others. Because of the new focus on renewable energy, the proximity to agriculture will become even more important in the future as research and development combine agriculture with alternative fuels.

Stockton is centrally located relative to both San Francisco and Sacramento. Given its location, its proximity to the state and interstate freeway system, and relatively inexpensive land costs, several companies base their regional operations in Stockton. These include Duraflame, Pac-West Telecommunications, Golden State Lumber Company and several others.

Stockton is rapidly becoming the community of choice for companies looking for an area to move or expand industries related to renewable energy. The Port of Stockton is one of the largest receivers of wind turbines in the world. Stockton's rail capacity makes distribution from the Port seamless. The sun and wind potential in Stockton is among some of the best in the country and with 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) available, the Port is already home to biodiesel and ethanol plants. The City of Stockton and the Port have worked in partnership to focus resources on developing green sustainable industry. The City of Stockton has been leading the way with their own policies for supporting green and renewable technologies. Stockton is working with local educational institutions, including high schools, community colleges, and four year universities, to educate the workforce for the booming renewable energy industry.

Source: BLS.gov

Hanford-Corcoran, California: 18.6% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

Hanford is a major trading centre serving the surrounding agricultural area. According to the California Employment Development Department, as of January 2007, most residents of the Hanford area were employed in services (29,200 employees), government (14,300 employees) and farming (7,600 employees) as well as in some manufacturing enterprises (3,400 employees).

The heavy industry sector has declined significantly over the past 20 years. An oil refinery formerly operated in the city under several different owners (Caminol Oil Co. from 1932-1967, Beacon Oil Co. from 1967-1982 and Ultramar Oil Co. from 1982-1987) until it permanently closed in 1987. A tire manufacturing plant was built in 1962 by the Armstrong Rubber Co., which operated it until that company was purchased by the Italian manufacturer Pirelli, which eventually closed the factory in 2001. On December 11, 2007, the Hanford City Planning Commission approved construction of a plant that is expected to produce 60 million gallons (227 million litres) of ethanol per year for use as a gasoline additive and alternative fuel for vehicles. Most of the feedstock will be corn shipped from the Midwest. The proposed plant would be operated by Great Valley Ethanol LLC and was expected to open in 2010. However, in March 2009, the president of Great Valley Ethanol stated that difficulty in obtaining financing and the low price of gasoline had delayed the opening.

The retail sector is growing with taxable sales of USD 414.7 million reported in 2002, up by 4.6% from 2001.

Source: BLS.gov

Fresno, California: 18.7% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

Fresno serves as the economic hub of Fresno County and California's Central Valley. The unincorporated area and rural cities surrounding Fresno remain predominantly tied to large-scale agricultural production.

Fresno is unique in that it is home to many business incubators that serve as a resource hub for business entrepreneurs and new companies. Some of these incubators are found at California State University, Fresno. Many of the businesses formed at the incubators have gone on to become internationally known in the business world. Some of the businesses involved range from environmental engineering to fashion designers.

Fresno is also home to many military and naval bases.

Source: BLS.gov

Modesto, California, 19.2% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

Modesto has a large agricultural industry which is based on the fertile farmland surrounding the city. Despite this the city has traditionally had above average unemployment rates. In October 2009, MSN Money reported Modesto's unemployment rate at 16.6% while the rest of the U.S. was reporting an unemployment rate of around 10%. Blue Diamond Growers, a nearby almond factory in Salida, is a major nut supplier. Modesto is also home to the largest winery in the world: E & J Gallo Winery. Founded in 1933 by brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo, the company continually revolutionizes the wine industry in America. The Gallo Glass Company, a company of Gallo Winery, is the largest wine bottle manufacturing company in the world. The company provides thousands of office and manufacturing jobs to Stanislaus County residents.

Other major privately owned companies based in Modesto include Foster Farms Dairy, Royal Robbins, international award winner Fiscalini Cheese, Sciabica Olive Oil, Acme Construction, Aderholt Specialty, and 511 Tactical (formerly a part of Royal Robbins). A cannery downtown produces food which is usually shipped to Sacramento and Fresno for transfer to rail or ship. Ceres has a few cereal and snack factories in the area. Downtown there are several small steelworking companies. In mid-2008, a number of road projects were being constructed, repaved or repaired, with an estimated total cost of nearly $120,000,000.

Source: BLS.gov

Visalia-Porterville, California: 19.4% Unemployment Rate

Agriculture forms the backbone of the Visalia area. The cities are surrounded by fertile land that export an abundance of crops, most notably cotton and milk. Tulare County, which encompasses the metro area, is the most productive county in the United States in terms of agricultural revenues, making US$3.5 billion in 2001, according to Wikipedia.

Source: BLS.gov

Yuma, Arizona: 19.9% Unemployment Rate

High unemployment remains an issue in Yuma. Citing April 2009 data, the Bureau of labour Statistics ranked Yuma as #2 among the 13 U.S. cities that post unemployment rates above 15 per cent. Yuma came in at 20.3 per cent, under the 26.9 per cent in El Centro, California. Yuma's agricultural workforce, which adjusts to the picking season, is cited as the reason for the high unemployment by the Arizona Department of Commerce, according to Wikipedia.

Source: BLS.gov

Yuba City, California: 21.7% Unemployment Rate

Source: BLS.gov

Merced, California: 22.1% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

The economy has traditionally relied upon agribusiness and upon the presence of Castle Air Force Base. Over the past 20 years, more diversified industry has entered the area, including printing, fibreglass boat building, warehousing and distribution, and packaging industries.

In September 1995, Castle Air Force Base closed after phasing down over the previous three years. This has affected residential real estate and some sectors of the retail and service economies, but overall retail has continued to increase. No significant increase in unemployment has been noted. Re-use of the former base is actively proceeding. Industrial development is increasing in the area.

Since 1992, more than 400,000 square feet of new industrial activity has started. In May 1995, Merced was selected as the home of the next University of California campus. UC Merced opened with its first 1,000 students in September 2005. Local planning is underway to accommodate campus development, will eventually accommodate about 25,000 students.

Source: BLS.gov

El Centro, California: 27.0% Unemployment Rate

From Wikipedia, a description of the area's industry:

As of 2009 the employment of El Centro residents is dominated by the local government, California state government, and federal government. Two nearby prisons and the U.S. Border Patrol provide employment; The Economist states that the prisons and border patrol were 'relatively untouched' by the late-2000s recession. The El Centro area has many farming plots, where carrots, lettuce, and other crops are produced, and therefore the El Centro economy is subject to seasonal variations like other farming areas. Between November and March in winter periods, El Centro-area farmers harvest lettuce for $8--10 per hour. During March the harvest moves to the north and is no longer in El Centro; in previous eras farmers migrated, while in the 2000s many collect unemployment benefits during the summer.

El Centro is surrounded by thousands of acres of farmland that has transformed the desert into one of the most productive farming regions in California with an annual crop production of over $1 billion. Agriculture is the largest industry in Imperial County and accounts for 48% of all employment.

Being the commercial centre of Imperial County, 50 per cent of the jobs in the El Centro come from the service and retail sector.

Source: BLS.gov

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