Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Looking For a New Job? Avoid These 5 Places

The U.S. unemployment rate has been improving for some time now, but that doesn't mean it's easy to find a job everywhere. Some places in the United States have unemployment rates that would be enough to make even the most confident job-seekers cringe. Here are five metropolitan areas (populations of 200,000 or more) with unemployment rates much higher than the national average (6.5%) that you'll definitely want to avoid on your next job search:

1.)    Providence, Rhode Island (9.2% unemployment)

Source: Will Hart

The Providence metropolitan area is home to 1.6 million people and extends from Rhode Island into southern Massachusetts. Even though Providence is home to the state government and Fortune 500 companies Textron and United Natural Foods, the city's job market has been struggling to recover since the recession ended. Even though the unemployment rate is down significantly over the past couple of years, job creation has been agonizingly slow.

2.)    Brownsville, Texas (9.5%)

Source: Jim Hatter

Located on the southernmost tip of Texas, the Brownsville metropolitan area has a population of about 415,000. Although Brownsville's urban area is one of the fastest growing in the United States, the job market hasn't quite kept pace with the population growth or with the rest of Texas, which has a lower-than-average unemployment rate of 5.7%.

In an exception to state and national trends, Brownsville has been losing jobs, and just recently a large call center closed its doors and another underwent a massive workforce reduction, combining for losses of around 1,200 more jobs.

3.)    Rockford, Illinois (11.6%)

Source: Ben Jacobson

This northern Illinois metro area is home to almost 350,000 residents, and is the second most populous city in the state, next to Chicago. Rockford's economy has declined since the 1980s, when the manufacturing industry began to contract, with many family owned companies having been bought out and moved elsewhere.

When you consider both the high unemployment and the fact that the property tax rate is very high, it's no wonder that Forbes named Rockford the third most miserable city in America. However, there may be light at the end of the tunnel, with the city actively seeking out high-tech employers to establish operations in the area.

4.)    Stockton, California (12.1%)

Source: Michael Aivaliotis

This metropolitan area is home to about 650,000 northern Californians and is one of the worst victims of the recession. Stockton led the nation in foreclosures in 2007, with one in every 30 homes affected. Things got so bad in Stockton that in 2012, the city became the largest in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy protection. It has since exited bankruptcy, funded by an additional sales tax, but the poor job market lingers.

5.)    Fresno, California (12.5%)

Source: David Jordan

The fifth largest city in California, Fresno's metro area is home to about 1.1 million people. Even though the area's unemployment rate is highest on this list, it could keep going up, as the area continues to lose jobs and the number of people looking for work continues to increase. In fact, Fresno's population grew by almost 16% between 2000 and 2010, and the job market in the area has not grown by nearly as much.

What to take away from this list
While this is not an exhaustive list, you should definitely think about the job market before moving to a new area. There is a comprehensive list by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that ranks the 372 largest metropolitan areas in the country in order of unemployment rates, and it is definitely worth a look if you plan on relocating anytime soon. A low unemployment rate is no guarantee that you'll get a job, but it can definitely improve your odds!

Once you get the job, put your money to work!
One of the dirty secrets that few finance professionals will openly admit is the fact that dividend stocks as a group handily outperform their non-dividend paying brethren. The reasons for this are too numerous to list here, but you can rest assured that it's true. However, knowing this is only half the battle. The other half is identifying which dividend stocks in particular are the best. With this in mind, our top analysts put together a free list of nine high-yielding stocks that should be in every income investor's portfolio. To learn the identity of these stocks instantly and for free, all you have to do is click here now.

Read/Post Comments (7) | Recommend This Article (7)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2014, at 5:32 AM, Mentallect wrote:

    Texas sure has a lot of jobs, although most of them minimum wage. Its no wonder Texas gets more federal dollars than it pays in federal taxes. If America got rid of all the red welfare states, we could balance the budget.

  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2014, at 9:46 AM, clutch58 wrote:

    Actually, if America got rid of those blue cities in the red states, and allowed Texas to round up and deport the illegals, Texas would destroy your liberal states. Funny-4 of the top 5 cities on this list are blue cities in blue states, and the one city in the red state is overrun by illegals.

  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2014, at 10:13 AM, sabebrush6 wrote:

    There's a woman that comes in to Starbucks every morning and gets a fancy coffee drink that made a comment the other morning to the fact that she hoped they didn't cut welfare program because if they did, she would have to go back to work and she was trying to make her welfare last until she retired.

    Wonderful ! What a bunch of bums in this country. This is what Obama's administration breeds.

    I saw her later that day at the golf course.

  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2014, at 12:38 PM, nimvg wrote:

    Providence has been bad for years. It's another one of those old money, insular, risk averse, demographically challenged places that failed to change with the times. Albany, Troy/Schenectady, Binghamton...all have similar problems.

    I live about 90 minutes from Stockton. They never recovered from the base closings in the early nineties. It's all they had. San Bernardino is in a similar situation for the exact same reasons.

  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2014, at 12:54 PM, Ardadius wrote:

    It's sure a good thing these cities are almost all deep in the welfare states, otherwise people might be in trouble!

  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2014, at 3:54 PM, peterwolf wrote:

    A city in Texas is losing jobs?? Now that's a first. In California it's normal. We're used to it and completely expect it, since we keep re-electing the same Democrats that drive all of our industries away. But Texas??

  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2014, at 11:08 PM, sept41951 wrote:

    Retirees are moving to Brownsville from the north for the weather and low cost living and the illegals are pouring through our borders from the south. Neither group is looking for a job. But I am sure the reporter has to try to say something to try and make Texas look bad.

    But if your a good liberal and believe what you read then skip Brownsville and retire in Detroit instead. You will love the weather and you can pick up a house real cheap compliments of their democrat mayor and city council. You might also think about wearing bullet proof if you select either area.

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2875312, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/27/2015 10:40:00 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Matthew Frankel

Matt brought his love of teaching and investing to the Fool in order to help people invest better, after several years as a math teacher. Matt specializes in writing about the best opportunities in bank stocks, real estate, and personal finance, but loves any investment at the right price. Follow me on Twitter to keep up with all of the best financial coverage!

Today's Market

updated 1 hour ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,654.77 369.26 2.27%
S&P 500 1,987.66 47.15 2.43%
NASD 4,812.71 115.17 2.45%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes