Metro Areas with Highest Unemployment Rates, Aug 2009

Although the rust belt continues to lead the country in cities with high unemployment, when looking at larger metropolitan areas, the south and southwest lead the country. The CBSA with the highest unemployment rate is the El Centro, California Metropolitan Statistical Area, at 28.7%, three times the current national average. However, this statistic is potentially deceiving – as this article in The Economist explains, the El Centro area was indeed hit hard by the housing bust, but the unemployment numbers are inflated by the number of residents who work in Mexico, and green-card-carrying Mexicans that work in Imperial County.

Metro Areas with the Highest Unemployment Rates in August 2009

County, State, MSA Type Unemployment Rate in August 2009 (Preliminary)

El Centro, CA, Metropolitan Statistical Area


Yuma, AZ, Metropolitan Statistical Area


Chester, SC, Micropolitan Statistical Area


Selma, AL, Micropolitan Statistical Area


Union, SC, Micropolitan Statistical Area


Bennettsville, SC, Micropolitan Statistical Area


Valley, AL, Micropolitan Statistical Area


West Point, MS, Micropolitan Statistical Area


Brownsville, TN, Micropolitan Statistical Area


Lancaster, SC, Micropolitan Statistical Area


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