10 Cities That Lost The Most Jobs

cities lost jobs

By 24/7 Wall St., Introduction by Jake Thiewes


The phrase "economic recovery" has been appearing more frequently in news reports. The United States' job market seems to be slowly improving, but unemployment claims currently are hovering above 8 percent.

Some cities that were hit hard at the height of the recession in the summer of 2009 have yet to recover, however. 24/7 Wall St. examined data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for nearly 375 metropolitan areas in the United States, comparing data from June 2009 to June 2012.

These are the 10 cities in America that have lost the most jobs.


10. St. George, Utah
  • Pct. decrease of employed: -5%
  • Decrease in people employed: -2,799 (34th largest)
  • June 2009 unemployment rate: 9.9% (145th highest)
  • June 2012 unemployment rate: 7.6% (148th lowest)

The state of Utah has lost 5,697 jobs between June 2009 and June 2012. The St. George area alone has lost 2,799 jobs over that same time. Though it may seem to be a positive that the area's unemployment rate fell 2.3 percentage points in the past three years, much of this decline is the result of individuals rapidly exiting the labor force. Between 2009 and 2012, the number of people in the labor force declined 7.4 percent. From June 2007 through June 2012, the number of workers employed in St. George by the mining, logging and construction sector declined by a whopping 60 percent, from 9,000 to just 3,600. However, there may soon be a recovery in mining jobs as plans to construct a gypsum mine in the area have been approved by local officials.


9. Carson City, Nev.
  • Pct. decrease of employed: -5%
  • Decrease in people employed: -1,308 (61st largest)
  • June 2009 unemployment rate: 11.1% (90th highest)
  • June 2012 unemployment rate: 11.8% (22nd highest)

Even though unemployment fell 1.1 percentage points, from 12.9 percent in June 2011 to 11.8 percent in June 2012, this was accompanied by a 3.5 percent contraction in the labor force. This shows that declines in unemployment were not part of a real economic improvement, but rather caused by workers leaving the workforce. Many of the job losses in Carson City are the result of tight state and local budgets. In 2012, the Nevada State Prison in Carson City was closed and more than 100 people lost their jobs. Companies also were laying off workers during this time. Harley Davidson Financial Services cut more than a hundred of its staff located in Carson City. Replacement parts company Chromalloy laid off more than 130 employees in the area in the past two years after already cutting 150 positions in 2008. On the bright side, the mining industry is expected to create numerous new jobs in the area over the next couple of years.


8. Alexandria, La.
  • Pct. decrease of employed: -5.2%
  • Decrease in people employed: -3,420 (27th largest)
  • June 2009 unemployment rate: 7.5% (77th lowest)
  • June 2012 unemployment rate: 8.7% (148th highest)

The recession was tough on Alexandria: Area unemployment has risen in each of the preceding three years, as the unemployment rate increased by 1.2 percentage points between June 2009 and June 2012. Since June of 2009, the number of people employed has fallen from 65,710 to 62,290. Much of the area's job loss came from the government sector, which shed 900 jobs in the past three years. In the past year alone, the number of workers in Alexandria has fallen by 1,156, or 1.8 percent -- one of the larger declines in the nation.


7. Madera-Chowchilla, Calif.
  • Pct. decrease of employed: -5.5%
  • Decrease in people employed: -3,204 (29th largest)
  • June 2009 unemployment rate: 13.5% (tied for 25th highest)
  • June 2012 unemployment rate: 14.6% (10th highest)

Though down from 15.5 percent unemployment in June 2011, the 2012 unemployment rate is almost 90 percent more than the national average. Much of the decrease in employment in the area in the past three years is the result of losses of government jobs. On January 20, 2010, all of Madera County employees were issued layoff notices due to the budget crisis. The area is anticipating further job cuts, many in the education sector due to lack of funds. Four of Madera County's nine school districts filed their budget in a "qualified" status, meaning they most likely will not be able to meet financial obligations this year or in the next two years and will need to cut back staff.

More: 5 Surefire Ways To Turn A Part-Time Gig Into A Full-Time Job


6. Flagstaff, Ariz.
  • Pct. decrease of employed: -5.6%
  • Decrease in people employed: -3,936 (22nd largest)
  • June 2009 unemployment rate: 8.4% (140th lowest)
  • June 2012 unemployment rate: 8.3% (171st highest)

Though it has declined by more than 1 percentage point in just the past year, Flagstaff's unemployment rate is only slightly lower than it was in June 2009. Despite the unemployment rate barely improving in the past three years, the number of people employed in Flagstaff has actually declined by 5.6 percent in that time. Related to this, the size of Flagstaff's labor force has declined by 5.7 percent since 2009 and 3.7 percent in the past year alone -- the fifth-largest decline nationwide. The leisure and hospitality sector had a particularly large decline in employment with 900 jobs lost between June 2011 and June 2012, representing more than half of all jobs lost in the area.


5. Michigan City-LaPorte, Ind.
  • Pct. decrease of employed: -5.7%
  • Decrease in people employed: -2,728 (35th largest)
  • June 2009 unemployment rate: 12.1% (54th highest)
  • June 2012 unemployment rate: 9.7% (74th highest)

In 2011, the LaPorte hospital laid off more than 100 workers because of a weak economy and the swelling number of uninsured patients. The increase in the number of uninsured people is not surprising given the number of job losses in the area over the past couple of years. This summer, Federal-Mogul Corp., an automobile parts maker, is closing down a factory and moving its production to Mexico in an effort to cut costs and save money, resulting in the loss of 100 jobs by the end of the year. This is not the only manufacturing company to close down or lay off workers in the area. Other companies include Weil-McLain and Sullair.


4. Prescott, Ariz.
  • Pct. decrease of employed: -5.8%
  • Decrease in people employed: -5,140 (15th largest)
  • June 2009 unemployment rate: 10.4% (121st highest)
  • June 2012 unemployment rate: 8.7% (148th highest)

In the past three years, the number of people employed has dropped dramatically in Prescott from 89,328 workers in 2009 to just 84,188 by 2012. This was part of a larger decline in the size of Prescott's labor force, which shrank by 7.5 percent between 2009 and 2012, the fourth-largest contraction in the nation over that time. However, the worst may be over as the number of workers in Prescott declined by just 137, or 0.2 percent, between June 2011 and June 2012. In June 2012, just three of 10 sectors had year-over-year declines in employment -- government, education and health -- and other services sectors each lost about 100 jobs.

More: How 20 Is The New 30 In Today's Workforce


3. Champaign-Urbana, Ill.
  • Pct. decrease of employed: -5.8%
  • Decrease in people employed: -6,241 (13th largest)
  • June 2009 unemployment rate: 8.7% (160th lowest)
  • June 2012 unemployment rate: 9.1% (114th highest)

One of two state college towns on the list, Champaign-Urbana lost 800 government jobs between June 2011 and June 2012. One of the private employers laying people off is Archer Daniels Midland Co. Due to lower corn and bean yields, the company does not have enough work to contract workers through Zachry Construction.


2. Brunswick, Ga.
  • Pct. decrease of employed: -6.1%
  • Decrease in people employed: -2,991 (31st largest)
  • June 2009 unemployment rate: 9.4% (180th lowest)
  • June 2012 unemployment rate: 10.5% (44th lowest)

Between 2009 and 2012, 2,695 people in Brunswick stopped working or looking for work, thereby reducing the size of the labor force by 5 percent. Additionally, even as the labor force shrank, the number of people in the labor force who were unemployed rose from 5,039 in June 2009 to 5,335 in June 2012. This combination of a shrinking labor force and growing unemployment resulted in 2,991 jobs lost -- one of the larger decreases in the nation. However, the city's employment loss trends began to reverse themselves in the most recent year, as Brunswick added 373 jobs and the number of unemployed workers fell by 234.


1. Dalton, Ga.
  • Pct. decrease of employed: -8%
  • Decrease in people employed: -4,446 (19th largest)
  • June 2009 unemployment rate: 12.7% (43rd highest)
  • June 2012 unemployment rate: 12.3% (19th highest)

Dalton's unemployment rate is 2.7 percentage points higher than the unemployment rate of Georgia, and 4 percentage points higher than the national average. One of the many private employers laying people off in Dalton is Shaw Industries. In October, 2011, the Dalton Daily Citizen announced that the carpeting manufacturer was planning to shut its Dalton plant down by the end of the year and cut 270 jobs. Beaulieu Group, a floor manufacturer, also shut down two plants in the area that together accounted for 320 jobs. A depressed housing market can be blamed for these closures. Government funding also has been cut back in the region, meaning more layoffs and furloughs. The Health Department kept its offices closed two Fridays a month in the first half of the year due to declining state and local funding.


Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now



More From AOL Jobs



Looking for a job? Click here to get started.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

2 Comments

Filter by:
mn4470

Those people didn't "lose" their jobs they were "republicanized", also known as sent to China. The republicans keep talking about jobs but it is all a smokescreen as they were the ones who let the jobs go in the first place. This is just a political game that Obama needs to point out to the public.
It's all about downgrading the middle class standard of living and having them pay the taxes for the rich corporations and people.

August 30 2012 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil Collins

Yes and St.Louis isn't far behind !

August 30 2012 at 6:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

Week of Oct 19 - 26
View All

Featured Writers

Meet the team

Picks From the Web