Special Report

The Nine American Cities Nearly Destroyed by the Recession

9. Norwich-New London, CT
> Pct. jobs recovered: 4.3%
> Q4 2012 jobs: 127,600
> Pre-recession jobs peak: 137,100
> Recession jobs trough: 127,200
> Pct. jobs lost: 7.2%

After losing nearly 10,000 jobs during the recession, the Norwich-New London metropolitan area still has not made any positive recovery. The area will recover only 400 lost positions by the end of 2012, according to the IHS. As a publication by economists at the University of Connecticut, The Connecticut Economy, explains, New London and New Haven are having the most economic difficulty of all areas within the state. The Electric Boat shipyard, a submarine manufacturer, and pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. are responsible for many of the area’s layoffs, the report states. In addition, the recent legalization of casino gambling in Massachusetts has hurt the local gaming industry.

8. Brunswick, GA
> Pct. jobs recovered: 4.1%
> Q4 2012 jobs: 40,400
> Pre-recession jobs peak: 46,100
> Recession jobs trough: 40,200
> Pct. jobs lost: 12.7%

The Brunswick metropolitan statistical area lost nearly 6,000 jobs, or 12.7% of its workforce, between the fourth quarter of 2007 and the end of 2011. Located on the coast of Georgia, Brunswick has relied heavily on its port status and exports, which account for 18.4% of its economy. According to IHS, continuing global problems, especially in the Eurozone, will be damaging to exporting cities as demand for goods wanes. By the end of this year, the metro region will only regain 200 of the lost jobs.

7. Abilene, TX
> Pct. jobs recovered: 4.1%
> Q4 2012 jobs: 61,900
> Pre-recession jobs peak: 68,000
> Recession jobs trough: 61,700
> Pct. jobs lost: 9.3%

At its employment peak, Abilene had a total 68,000 jobs. But after losing 9.3% of the jobs, it will reach 61,700 jobs at its low point this quarter. Come the fourth quarter of 2012, Abilene is only expected to recover 200 of those lost jobs. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the majority of jobs lost over the past were in education and health services. Despite the area’s job losses, it maintains an unemployment rate of 6.2%, which is well under the national rate of 8.5%.

6. Wichita Falls, TX
> Pct. jobs recovered: 3%
> Q4 2012 jobs: 57,500
> Pre-recession jobs peak: 62,200
> Recession jobs trough: 57,300
> Pct. jobs lost: 7.8%

By mid-2012, Wichita Falls, Texas is projected to lose 4,900, or 7.8% of its jobs from its peak employment in 2007. By the end of the year, IHS projects it will recover just 200 positions. However, unemployment continues to shrink in the area, indicating that people are either leaving the region or giving up on looking for jobs. Population has declined roughly 3% since 2000, while the value of exported goods has dropped substantially.