The 10 Cities Hit Hardest by Government Layoffs

Four of the 10 cities whose employment rolls are suffering the most amid a national wave of metropolitan austerity are in California, according to a list compiled by 24/7 Wall St. The Golden State cities are San Francisco, Bakersfield-Delano, Fresno and Stockton.

"It's very, very difficult if you are not growing and you have to deal with a budget gap," says Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at HIS Global Insight, in an interview with 24/7. "The options are not pleasant."

The experiences of fiscal emergencies, massive layoffs and fired teachers are indicative of a national trend; among the most telling statistics included in the 24/7 report is that 63 percent of U.S. cities surveyed by the National League of Cities made plans to introduce cuts in public safety spending in 2010. That figure is part of the nationwide metropolitan downturn that could very well define this Great Recession, once its final history is written.

And we are far from being out of the woods. A study conducted by Wells Fargo says the current national monthly pace of cities shedding 20,000 to 30,000 jobs should be expected to hold through 2012. San Francisco, ranked tenth on the 24/7 list, doesn't expect to return to 2008 employment levels until 2015.

Indeed, the stories of the 10 cities suffering the most offer an avalanche of misery. The metropolitan government of Providence, R.I., listed sixth on the 24/7 list, was forced to furnish preliminary layoff notices for all its 1,926 teachers. (Not all ended up losing their jobs.) New Orleans, which tops the list, asked its workers to take 11 days off last year, with no pay, to help close a budget shortfall.

Desperate times have called for desperate measures; the greater metropolitan area of Augusta, Ga., ranked ninth by 24/7, has privatized its bus service, while greater New Haven, ranked fourth, has mulled selling off its parking meters.

To capture the moment, 24/7 cited a 2008 NPR report on Fresno, in which the following was noted: "For some people in California's central valley, life resembles scenes from 'The Grapes of Wrath.' " John Steinbeck's classic took place during the Great Depression.

Starting with the city suffering most, here's 24/7's Top 10 list:

  1. New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA
  2. Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI
  3. Stockton, CA
  4. New Haven-Milford, CT
  5. Fresno, CA
  6. Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA
  7. Bakersfield-Delano, CA
  8. Kansas City, MO-KS
  9. Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC
  10. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA

Methodology: "24/7 Wall St. used data from the Bureau of Labor for statistics for estimated government employment and regional unemployment. The employment change figures are from Brookings and the credit ratings are from Moody's. We also consulted the Milken Institute's 2010 Best-Performing Cities – 200 Largest Metros list."


Filed under: Employment News
Dan Fastenberg

Dan Fastenberg

Associate Editor

Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.

Follow Dan on Twitter. Email Dan at daniel.fastenberg@teamaol.com. Add Dan to your Google+ circles.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

16 Comments

Filter by:
jj21904

Why was washington d.c. not includied?

June 17 2011 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jwps7

they are looking for fARM HELP IN GEORGIA, START PICKIN..

June 17 2011 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rbjllj

Actually MO isn't a red or blue state, it's a swing vote state.

June 17 2011 at 12:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rgiedt

To bad Washington DC is not on the list. They should be number 1.

June 17 2011 at 11:40 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dachbackworld

I bet there would be plenty of jobs out there if the government took more time saving babies instead of allowing abortions, look at the number of dead babies that have been aborded every year do the math since the wade law. Each kid would be another home to build car to sell...... How do we know we did not abort the next worlds Ienstein? How bout the concept that we live in a free county and there is nothing free about it. You can not be free in a place that should be called land of the laws USA. Our greed for money and taxing big companies has pushed them over seas. Can you blame them? How bout the concept that you are innocent till poven guilty in the court of law. Well, why are you arrested then you have to go to court to prove your innocents. Should the mirranda rights be told to you as soon as the police officer starts talking to you? I have seen people get arrested for telling the truth that in the court of law you would not get that chance to expose your self with a good lawyer. But non the less you will be read your mirranda before they throw the cuffs on. How can in the land of the free, if i go out and have three beers, drive home and pregnant lady pulls out in front of me and the fetus and the lady die, i get the wrap for involentary manslaughter for killing two people. In the same land a california dr. who is suppose to be saving lives, can kill them fetuses all day long and not get charged for one murder. Problem with america our stupid assed edjucated people keep voting these rich conglomerates to run our country. Problem is it represses us ordinary average day every day people. Dont follow the law and boom your refined. Last point of view, dont get all i am better than thee, if some one is sitting in jail, we live in a country with so many laws every one is breaking them just not getting caught for it yet just wait your turn. Love the Government!

June 17 2011 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
danceshorses

Unions have screwed America for many decades and now they are reaping what they have sown. It was just a matter of time when they would run out of other people's money

June 17 2011 at 11:29 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Eugene Carlo

how far can the government push us

June 17 2011 at 11:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carl A. Johnson

Here in Metro Detroit, we have thousands of engineers with master's degrees and doctorate degrees in engineering that are having trouble finding work. Today, many U.S. corporations are contracting with engineers in China, India, Singapore, Russia and Japan to do their engineering work for them and pay them one-third the wages that the American engineers were being paid. How much more proof do we need that "Reaganomics" and "Trickle-Down Economics" is a gigantic and obscene hoax??

June 17 2011 at 11:08 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Carl A. Johnson's comment
danceshorses

Reagan had nothing to do with this. It is the fault of unions and the dems. Scewing America could go just so long and then it ends in disaster

June 17 2011 at 11:31 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
jjusko5512

Trickle-Down does work, but the global market has changed the domestic landscape. The global market and immigration have both put a leak in the trickle down theroy. We need large rich and powerful companies to compete, but we need to incentives them to use American labor. We could also put import taxes on labor heavy goods.

June 17 2011 at 1:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

No fake housing market to pump the economy only outsourcing, returning troops with double unemployment rates, and no jobs. Thank your visa program which only wants to import workers and deny Americans jobs.

June 17 2011 at 10:31 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

It's no coincidence riots and war are spreading the real economy has come crashing down world wide.

June 17 2011 at 10:25 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Search Jobs

In Partnership With
Keywords:
Location:

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

April 13 - April 20

Looking for work? See what companies added new openings this week.