Kingdoms of the cut

Published: Jun 08, 2009

Here's more news that seems to weed-whack through those "green shoots" we've started hearing about. Currently (based on April data), there are 13 cities in the U.S. in which unemployment has reached 15% or higher; five of those have actually exceeded the 17.4% heights of joblessness which Spain is now enjoying. (It has the highest rate in Western Europe by far.) Three of the top five, and 9 of the 13, are in California, where the picture has been exacerbated by problems at the local and state governmental level. The city of El Centro is the dubious "winner," its unbelievable 26.9% rate distorted by seasonal fluctuations (a large amount of employment is based on agriculture). <p>While all this sounds positively awful, in general, it's actually better than in March. That's when 18 cities topped 15%, and 109 metropolitan areas out of the 372 surveyed zipped past 10% (the total was 93 for April). So are we in "improvement" mode or not? Stay tuned to see how the next round of statistics is spun. <p><b><em>--Posted by Todd Obolsky, Vault Staff Writer</em></b>