Where Jobs Are (And Aren’t) Growing
The Rust Belt may be shaking off the rust caused by the Great Recession.
Unemployment rates have fallen in a vast majority of U.S. cities, says the Labor Department, with rates having declined in 345 of 372 metropolitan areas from January 2011 to January 2012. Among the biggest winners are cities in Michigan and Ohio, while upstate New York continues to struggle.
These figures say much more than that the recovery is uneven. They show where the labor market’s weaknesses are more precisely than the national job report that makes headlines each month. For example, while housing continues to drag down many western cities, a recent resurgence in manufacturing has boosted some Rust Belt cities’ payroll figures.
But even more promising data underlie some of these improvements. The unemployment rate is calculated as a percentage of the labor force, so as people give up the job search and drop out of the labor force altogether, the jobless rate does not reflect the true number of unemployed.,. Encouragingly, these figures do not indicate that is what’s happening in cities with improving unemployment rates, says Freedman.