Special Report

Cities With the Highest (and Lowest) Unemployment Rates

Ocean City, New Jersey
Source: Thinkstock

3. Ocean City, NJ
> December 2015 unemployment rate:
12.3%
> Unemployment rate, December 2014: 14.6%
> Unemployment rate, December 2005: 9.2%
> Median household income: $56,899
> Poverty rate: 13.5%
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree: 26.3%

The only East Coast city to make the list, Ocean City’s unemployment rate of 12.3% is higher than nearly every other city in the country.

Yuma, Arizona
Source: Thinkstock

2. Yuma, AZ
> December 2015 unemployment rate:
18.0%
> Unemployment rate, December 2014: 20.1%
> Unemployment rate, December 2005: 12.1%
> Median household income: $40,008
> Poverty rate: 22.4%
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree: 13.5%

Roughly 18% of Yuma’s workforce is unemployed. Though the area’s unemployment rate is one of the worst in the country, it is improving. Unemployment has declined every year since 2013, when the city’s unemployment rate hit 23.5%.

El Centro, California
Source: Wikimedia Commons

1. El Centro, CA
> December 2015 unemployment rate:
19.6%
> Unemployment rate, December 2014: 22.6%
> Unemployment rate, December 2005: 13.8%
> Median household income: $39,290
> Poverty rate: 23.7%
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree: 14.8%

Close to one in five members of El Centro’s workforce was unemployed in December, the highest unemployment rate of any metro area in the United States. The area’s economy is highly dependent on its agricultural sector, which has suffered immensely due to California’s five consecutive years of severe drought conditions.

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