This city has the highest unemployment rate in America – 24/7 Wall St.
In February 2020, unemployment was at its lowest level in five decades, at 3.5%. It peaked in five decades at 14.2% in April, driven by the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. A rapid increase in gross domestic product and consumer confidence helped fuel the comeback.
Fast forward to today. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that the economy created 194,000 jobs in September. It was well below the 500,000 forecasts of economists. The national unemployment rate was 5.2%.
The BLS also provides unemployment data by state and subway station. In its summary of employment and unemployment in the metropolitan area, the bureau observed:
“Unemployment rates were lower in August than a year earlier in 385 of 389 metropolitan areas, higher in 3 regions and unchanged in 1 region, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In total, 43 regions had unemployment rates below 3.0 percent and 4 regions had rates of 10.0 percent or more. Non agricultural
paid employment increased during the year in 104 metropolitan regions and remained essentially unchanged in 285 regions.
El Centro, CA had the highest rate at 19.4%. This contrasts with the city with the lowest rate, Lincoln, NE at 1.7%.
According to FRED, which is part of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, unemployment in El Centro has been extremely high for decades. In December 2010, the Great Recession pushed its unemployment rate to over 30%. Since 1991, it has rarely been less than 15%. The city of El Centro, in the center of the metropolitan statistical area of El Centro, has 44,079 inhabitants. Eighty-seven percent of the population is Hispanic or Latino. Household income is exceptionally low at $ 47,864.
The problem with El Centro shows just how little federal government assistance has done to reverse severely crippled local economies that have had nagging problems for years. Unemployment for minorities tends to be higher than employment for whites nationwide. The poverty that this causes often lasts for generations in families.
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