Cities With the Highest (and Lowest) Unemployment Rates

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The Cities With the Highest Unemployment Rates

Danville, Illinois

21. Danville, IL
> December 2015 unemployment rate: 7.4%
> Unemployment rate, December 2014: 7.0%
> Unemployment rate, December 2005: 5.9%
> Median household income: $41,690
> Poverty rate: 18.7%
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree: 13.8%

Danville is home to a larger share of unemployed workers than the vast majority of American cities. While unemployment in most cities has dropped in the last 12 months, in Danville, the rate has climbed from 7.0% to 7.4% in the last year.

Decatur, Illinois

21. Decatur, IL
> December 2015 unemployment rate: 7.4%
> Unemployment rate, December 2014: 7.0%
> Unemployment rate, December 2005: 6.2%
> Median household income: $47,574
> Poverty rate: 15.4%
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree: 24.2%

Though Decatur’s labor market has shown some signs of improvement since December 2009 when the unemployment rate was 12.4%, it still lags behind the rest of the country. Roughly 7.4% of Decatur’s 50,000 strong labor force is out of work and looking for a job, one of the highest jobless rates in the country.

Weirton-Steubenville, West Virginia

21. Weirton-Steubenville, WV
> December 2015 unemployment rate: 7.4%
> Unemployment rate, December 2014: 6.7%
> Unemployment rate, December 2005: 7.0%
> Median household income: $44,582
> Poverty rate: 16.9%
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree: 17.1%

Of the 23 U.S. metro areas with the highest unemployment rates, the Weirton-Steubenville area had the worst short term change. In the last 12 months, the unemployment rate in the metro area has jumped from 6.7% to 7.4%.

Redding, California

19. Redding, CA
> December 2015 unemployment rate: 7.5%
> Unemployment rate, December 2014: 8.8%
> Unemployment rate, December 2005: 6.7%
> Median household income: $43,706
> Poverty rate: 13.8%
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree: 20.8%

Housing markets are often closely tied with labor markets. Since 2005, home prices in Redding have declined by 22%. Over the same time period, unemployment has climbed from 6.7% to 7.5%.

Longview, Washington

19. Longview, WA
> December 2015 unemployment rate: 7.5%
> Unemployment rate, December 2014: 8.5%
> Unemployment rate, December 2005: 7.0%
> Median household income: $42,223
> Poverty rate: 22.5%
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree: 14.7%

Only a handful of U.S. cities have a smaller share of adults with a college education. Only 14.7% of adults in Longview have a bachelor’s degree, less than half the 30.1% national college attainment rate.