The Worst US Cities to Find a Job

August 2018 marked the 94th consecutive month of job growth in the United States, a record high. The narrative of a nearly eight-year-long hiring boom does not tell the whole story, however, as the jobs picture in dozens of cities represents a stark departure from the broader national trend.

Overall employment climbed by 1.6 percent in the United States from July 2017 to July 2018 — and by nearly 10 percent in the last half-decade. Largely as a result, the U.S. unemployment rate stands at 3.9 percent — down from 4.3 percent a year ago and 7.3 percent in July 2013.

Meanwhile, in over 50 major cities, the unemployment rate remains above 5 percent — a level not seen nationwide since the summer of 2015. In a similar number of cities, total employment has slumped in the last year as jobs are vanishing.

To identify the worst cities to find a job, 24/7 Wall Street reviewed the U.S. metropolitan areas that either had relatively steep employment declines in the last year, high unemployment, or both. Not confined to a single region, the 25 cities on this list span 14 states from coast to coast.

25. Elmira, New York

• July 2018 unemployment: 4.8 percent
• Labor force: 35,227
• Number unemployed: 1,676
• 1-year employment change: -1.2 percent

24. Watertown-Fort Drum, New York

• July 2018 unemployment: 5.7 percent
• Labor force: 44,733
• Number unemployed: 2,558
• 1-year employment change: -0.5 percent

23. Cheyenne, Wyoming

• July 2018 unemployment: 3.9 percent
• Labor force: 46,791
• Number unemployed: 1,814
• 1-year employment change: -2.2 percent

22. Huntington-Ashland, West Virginia

• July 2018 unemployment: 5.7 percent
• Labor force: 146,655
• Number unemployed: 8,300
• 1-year employment change: -0.5 percent

21. Charleston, West Virginia

• July 2018 unemployment: 5.4 percent
• Labor force: 94,658
• Number unemployed: 5,157
• 1-year employment change: -0.9 percent

20. Pine Bluff, Arkansas

• July 2018 unemployment: 4.8 percent
• Labor force: 34,789
• Number unemployed: 1,661
• 1-year employment change: -1.5 percent

19. Rocky Mount, North Carolina

• July 2018 unemployment: 5.7 percent
• Labor force: 64,610
• Number unemployed: 3,682
• 1-year employment change: -0.7 percent

18. Anchorage, Alaska

• July 2018 unemployment: 5.8 percent
• Labor force: 200,202
• Number unemployed: 11,600
• 1-year employment change: -0.7 percent

17. Casper, Wyoming

• July 2018 unemployment: 4.6 percent
• Labor force: 38,513
• Number unemployed: 1,761
• 1-year employment change: -1.8 percent

16. Williamsport, Pennsylvania

• July 2018 unemployment: 4.6 percent
• Labor force: 55,934
• Number unemployed: 2,574
• 1-year employment change: -2.0 percent

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Source: USA Today