Special Report

These Cities Lost the Most Jobs in the Last Five Years

As the decade winds down, the U.S. economy continues to mark unprecedented job growth. November was the 110th straight month of reported job growth — the longest in U.S. history. In the last five years alone, the number of employed people in the United States increased by 11 million, or 7.5%. 

At the national level, this growth was driven largely by the additions of food service and retail sales jobs, as well as low paying jobs in the education, health services, and professional and business sectors. These are America’s 25 thriving industries.

The vast majority of the nation’s metropolitan areas reported employment growth over the five years through 2019. In 340 of the nation’s 383 metropolitan areas, employment grew over the last half decade through this October. in the rest of the cities, however, employment was stagnant, and in a few outliers employment declined by 5% or more during that time

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 25 metropolitan areas with the largest percentage decrease in total employment from October 2014 to October 2019 using seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Local Area Unemployment Statistics program.

While only one measure of an economy, employment decline is closely tied to unfavorable outcomes in an area’s population. The majority of the metropolitan areas on this list have unemployment rates, college attainment rates, poverty rates, and population growth that are worse than the corresponding national figures. Nearly every city on this list reported a population decline even as the nation’s population grew by 3.5% over the last five years. Here are America’s fastest shrinking cities

All but a handful of the 25 cities with the largest employment declines have a median annual household income well below the national median of $61,937. These are the 10 cities where incomes are shrinking the fastest.

Click here to see the cities that lost the most jobs
Click here to see the cities that added the most jobs
Click here to read our methodology