July 9 2009|06.51 PM UTC

Stan Reybern

Mapping Unemployment: Out of Work in America

Category: UncategorizedTags: , ,

Some of America’s largest cities have experienced a rapid decline in employment in the past year with the collapse of the finance, real estate and automotive industries. To put each metropolitan area’s situation in perspective, we have put together a map showing the comparative rates of unemployment along with the year over year change from May 2008 to May 2009. It is apparent that some of the sharpest increases in unemployment have occurred in the largest markets for each of these failing industries.

(click to enlarge)

UNEMPLOYMENT

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous July 9, 2009 at 10:02 pm

…..What about Alaska…..and Hawaii??

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JASON THOMAS July 9, 2009 at 10:47 pm

You’d have to be stupid to stay in any of those cities! DERP DERP DERP!

There are many areas in the USA which are growing… move to those areas and you will not be hurting in the pocketbook.

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Sam Marvin July 10, 2009 at 12:31 am

Actually, Portland’s probably one of the best cities in the country right now, and is still growing. But it seems to have the third largest unemployment rate.

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Anonymous July 10, 2009 at 12:36 am

…and Pueeerto Riccco! Arrriba!

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Chris Jenkins July 10, 2009 at 1:39 am

Jason Thomas: Do you not realize that people build _lives_ where they live? Friends and family? Not everyone can be an antisocial internet nerd with no life, and free to live wherever.

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what am i to do May 29, 2010 at 6:33 pm

chris you are so right even though i am a native of ca i would gladly leave because i have been unemployed for the first time in my life however because my daughter visits with her father every weekend i must remain in ca and in the area i currently live. family law courts are very strict about such arrangements even if the father does not contribute to the cost of housing or raising said child.

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Overcaffeinated July 10, 2009 at 4:19 am

lol… Alaska and Hawaii… who cares?

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Anonymous July 10, 2009 at 5:23 am

go michigan!

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fwitz July 10, 2009 at 5:39 am

too bad for them!!

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jess July 10, 2009 at 6:24 am

north carolina??? i think we are almost at 12%. higher than some states. i dunno about the triangle area tho…

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B July 10, 2009 at 7:09 am

Does Pittsburgh not exist? I would argue the city is in great shape and is worth mentioning on this map…

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Anonymous July 10, 2009 at 7:12 am

Agreed, Chris Jenkins.
Jason Thomas: you’re ignorant.

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Jon Winthorp July 10, 2009 at 7:25 am

I guess Houston is not that bad compared to some other cities. Unemployment is still up 2.5% though so that’s not good.

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Dan P. July 10, 2009 at 8:22 am

Excellent point, Jason.

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Victor Powell July 10, 2009 at 8:29 am

Why the hell didn’t they include Pittsburgh?? ( aka, the city of champions and home of the upcoming G-20 summit)

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Anonymous July 10, 2009 at 8:44 am

Portland the best city? Depends how you organize your criteria. There are no jobs here, the large employers have either closed the doors and moved away ( Freightliner ) or have hiring freezes they are laying people off ( Nike, Intel ). I had a friend who applied for a job as a bagel cook from 2am to 10a that paid $10/hr and there were 300 applicants for 2 jobs. Yeah…great here.

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chet July 10, 2009 at 8:44 am

Chris Jenkins: No job, no life.

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Ralph July 10, 2009 at 8:45 am

Portland the best city? Depends how you organize your criteria. There are no jobs here, the large employers have either closed the doors and moved away ( Freightliner ) or have hiring freezes they are laying people off ( Nike, Intel ). I had a friend who applied for a job as a bagel cook from 2am to 10a that paid $10/hr and there were 300 applicants for 2 jobs. Yeah…great here.

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Eric B July 10, 2009 at 9:01 am

What about buffalo, new york. i believe it was rated as americas second poorest city, right after detroit. As a buffalonian i fell quite upset that we were not recognized after all we have worked or not worked for.

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Ryan July 10, 2009 at 9:17 am

Chris – then those people can’t bitch about unemployment. Jobs are fluid and go where the profit is. Prospective employees need to then go where the jobs are, or somebody else will.

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Mikael July 10, 2009 at 9:35 am

Portland is one of the best cities in the country? Meh. It’s one of the least diverse and business unfriendly cities in America. Powell’s and VooDoo donuts are awesome the rest not so much. Unemployment is not just horrible in Portland it’s pretty crappy throughout the state of Oregon. (15% in Bend, 14% in Eugene).

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Jeff Little July 10, 2009 at 9:38 am

What the Hell, you left off Ohio one of the worst hit states we stand at above 10% and the Greater Dayton area is about 15%

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Dustin July 10, 2009 at 9:54 am

Chris Jenkins – Why do you have to be a jerk?

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Moneymonk July 10, 2009 at 10:14 am

Wow! Atlanta is nearly double digits~

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Mike O July 10, 2009 at 10:39 am

Overlay your map with one depicting foreclosure rates, and I’d expect you’d find striking similarities. The housing bubble is still playing out, and until it is played out there will be no real end to this recession, stimulus or not.

All it takes is a walk down to your local library, which should have local foreclosure-auction notices posted, to know we are not in end-game as yet.

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Anonymous July 10, 2009 at 10:39 am

It’s not so easy to leave a city when you have a house you can’t sell because nobody’s buying because everyone’s losing their jobs. You have to be stupid to think it’s so easy.

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Anonymous July 10, 2009 at 10:41 am

Oregon hates business.

Thanks Uncle Ted

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Laura July 10, 2009 at 10:44 am

Yes, Jason, let’s all leave our homes and histories to flee those areas of the country that are economically depressed. That’ll fix us up real good!

That’s quite possibly one of the stupidest things I’ve read today. Don’t quit your day job, buddy (if you have one).

DERP DERP indeed.

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Chris July 10, 2009 at 10:55 am

We are lucky in DC…the federal government keeps getting bigger, and me and my buddies always have jobs. Best city for young professionals by far, and the most fun, IMHO.

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Chris Roland July 10, 2009 at 11:01 am

Great visualization of the major cities. Too bad I live in Michigan near Detroit …

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Empoweringtalk July 10, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Hmmm… the unemployment in Arkansas has been so bad for the last 60 years that we do not even appear in the map anymore!! Guess mosquitoes can’t file for unemployment!

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HeidiB July 10, 2009 at 12:45 pm

I’d like to see an overlay of how cities listed voted in the 2008 Presidential Election as well as the housing foreclosure numbers.

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jd July 10, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Jason Thomas, moving is just easy as pie when you’re jobless and flat broke!

Care to name these “areas” overflowing with good jobs?

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jd July 10, 2009 at 1:41 pm

I also live in Portland, which is a fantastic city to live in, but I’ve heard stories about hundreds of applicants for one shitty, shitty job too many times to count now.

Please stop moving to Portland and getting on food stamps, jobless New York and Midwest hipsters.

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rickkel July 10, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Empoweringtalk

I live in Northwest Arkansas. Thanks to three big corps here–Walmart, Tyson and JB Hunt, our unemployment rate is now 5%. State reported to be 7%. We are expected to be in second best shape behind Austin when recovery starts. Plus it’s a great place to live (check several recent best places to live lists). Land of opportunity, indeed.

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Marie July 10, 2009 at 11:02 pm

I suspect this map actually masks the problem as it really exists across the country.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the cities included are some of the strongest, actually.

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Marie July 10, 2009 at 11:02 pm

What this map tells me is to start thinking about ways of life that aren’t based on individuals being employed full time and living “independently” but are instead based on families and communities.

Everyone can’t move to DC.

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Marie July 10, 2009 at 11:04 pm

I wonder what their definition of “unemployed” is. Does it include people going to school because of a loss of a job? or people with degrees working fast food or part time? or those who gave up and aren’t reporting or collecting unemployment? Did I miss that detail somewhere?

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Absurd July 11, 2009 at 5:23 am

@Marie: actually you did. There is a large note on the bottom right corner of the map that says: “This generally does not include students, or those who have given up the job hunt”. Pay attention before making comments.

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Absurd July 11, 2009 at 5:26 am

This map is only based on reports from the Labor Dept on those collecting unemployment.

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MotownMusicLvr July 13, 2009 at 11:42 am

NC unemployment rate is around 11.1%
Companies are offering $10-$12/hr to people that used to make double that salary and then some. Unbelievable! I have been out of work since Nov. 2008 and it is July 13, 2009. I hate it!

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Me July 15, 2009 at 2:38 am

No offense. But somehow working for Walmart or Tyson in Alabama is not that inspiring to me.

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GrrlScientist July 18, 2009 at 12:09 am

i’ve been unemployed for a long time now (no longer included on the unemployed-and-looking lists because i don’t qualify for unemployment benefits), and can tell you from experience that there are several problems with picking up and leaving one city to move to another in search of a job. (1) most potential employers will not hire people who do not live in the city where they are seeking employees, so it is very risky not to mention, expensive) to relocate in the hopes that one might find a job elsewhere (2) relocation itself is quite expensive and not everyone has that sort of money available to them (when i moved across the country with a futon, bicycle, some clothes and a very very few possessions, it cost me in excess of $3k, not counting the costs of finding a place to rent, and the costs of first & last months’ rent and the damage deposit) (3) many people live in areas where their relatives and friends also live, so packing up and leaving them behind to move to another part of the country where they know no one, is very difficult (4) it is more difficult to live in a strange city when you are unemployed than it is to live in a city you are already familiar with and established in (5) some cities, like NYC, have a flourishing underground cash economy in exchange for doing menial jobs that help unemployed people survive until they can find a job that pays real money — but you have to (a) find it and (b) establish yourself as trustworthy to become part of it and (c) both those take time and last but not least, (6) if you have kids, all the previous challenges i raised are magnified tremendously.

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rGT July 19, 2009 at 2:54 am

Actually, the problem is this… the unemployed people from other cities like Detroit are moving to other cities like Houston for work. This is making jobs for Houston-natives harder to find and is upsetting commerce because “we planned jobs for Houston residents (x)” and now we have ‘x – y = z’, where ‘y’ are the people from Detroit and ‘z’ represents the amount of jobs left. Common sense says, “buy low, sell high” so staying in city with a higher unemployment rate where more jobs are likely to be created, is a wiser decision. We all need to just stay put and fix the driveline first before we start moving around in the seats and getting comfortable.

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Justin Case August 10, 2009 at 12:57 pm

I think the Bureau of Labor Statistics is out of touch with
the general population and so is the much of the US Government when it comes to unemployment. The unemployment
story was in full bloom in 2006. Many of the unemployed
were already running out of benefits and looking for work.
Some were hanging on to low paying marginal work from staffing agaencies. Some were being employed under the
unlawful veil of subcontractors. The rumors at the time were that the statistics at least double the offical count.
I am outside of Pittsburgh and I believe those stories were
and are true. Pittsburgh is surrounded by poor counties.
If Pittsburgh is doing well then it is one of the few spots
in the US heartland. But I can tell you that at least
10-12% of city land is vacated and that its population is
and was in decline for the past 40 years. Down from 650,000
to a neighborhood of 300,000. New cenus will tell. All the Ohio cities to the west are experiencing money troubles
that are greater than Pitt.

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