Friday, May 1, 2009

Looking for Work: Which Cities Are the Worst?

The Sun Belt might recover, but employment prospects look grim in Midwest, Cali

April 30, 2009—

One of the saddest tasks in the annual survey of the best places to do business I conduct with Pepperdine University's Michael Shires is examining the cities at the bottom of the list. Yet even in these nether regions there exists considerable diversity: Some places are likely to come back soon, while others have little immediate hope of moving up.

The study is based on job growth in 336 regions--called Metropolitan Statistical Areas by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which provided the data--across the U.S. Our analysis looked not only at job growth in the last year but also at how employment figures have changed since 1996. This is because we are wary of overemphasizing recent data and strive to give a more complete picture of the potential a region has for job-seekers.

First let's deal with the perennial losers, the sad sacks of the American economy. Mostly cities in the nation's industrial heartland, these places have ranked toward the bottom of our list for much of the past five years. Eleven of the bottom 16 regions on our list are in two states, Ohio and Michigan. In fact, the Wolverine State alone accounts for bottom four cities: Jackson, Michigan, Detroit, Saginaw and Flint. FULL STORY.

Click here to learn more about the worst big cities for jobs at our partner site,

No. 8: Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich.
These southern Michigan suburbs supply around 30,000 workers to Detroit's Chrysler and General Motors factories, according to Warren's mayor, Jim Fouts, and taxes from the auto industry make up about 15% of the city's fiscal budget. Last year, manufacturing jobs in the area fell 14.2%, and overall employment declined by 6.6%, largely driven by job losses in industries related to construction, transportation and utilities.

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