Don't Move Here: 5 Cities With The Highest Unemployment

Yuma Arizona unemployment

By Vivian Giang

At the end of 2012, the U.S. national unemployment rate was 7.8 percent and the country added 155,000 jobs in December, but these numbers still reflect a troubling economy with a long way to go.

"This shows the depth of the recent employment recession -- worse than any other post-war recession -- and the relatively slow recovery due to the lingering effects of the housing bust and financial crisis," writes Bill McBride of Calculated Risk.

According to a brand new BLS employment report, unemployment rates were lower in 322 out of 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 36 areas and unchanged in 14 areas compared to the same time last year. Yuma, Ariz., and El Centro, Calif., recorded the highest unemployment rates at 27.5 and 26.6 percent -- both cities have a large immigrant and migrant farm worker population.

More:Jobs Report: Unemployment Rate Holds Steady At 7.8%

The largest unemployment rate drop (-3.2 percent) took place in Pascagoula, Miss., and Bismarck, N.D., registered the lowest unemployment rate at 2.6 percent. In the new year, President Obama is planning on creating 1.1 million jobs from the American Job Acts, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

The BLS data isn't adjusted for seasonal factors, such as hiring during the holidays. The list below compares the unemployment numbers in these hard-hit cities to regional statistics:

1. Yuma, Ariz.

  • Percent Unemployed: 27.5%
  • No. Unemployed: 24,800

  • Percent Unemployed: 7.5%
  • No. Unemployed: 227,600

2. El Centro, Calif.

El Centro
  • Percent Unemployed: 26.6%
  • No. Unemployed: 20,600

  • Percent Unemployed: 9.6%
  • No. Unemployed: 1.77 million

More:European Unemployment Hits Record High

3. Yauco, P.R.

  • Percent Unemployed: 16.3%
  • No. Unemployed: 5,800

Puerto Rico
  • Percent Unemployed: 13.2%
  • No. Unemployed: 167,300

4. Yuba City, Calif.

Yuba City
  • Percent Unemployed: 15.8%
  • No. Unemployed: 10,900

  • Percent Unemployed: 9.6%
  • No. Unemployed: 1.77 million

5. Merced, Calif.

  • Percent Unemployed: 15.7%
  • No. Unemployed: 17,200

  • Percent Unemployed: 9.6%
  • No. Unemployed: 1.77 million

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