Of the top 10 metropolitan areas in the country with the highest unemployment rates, nine are in California. The other is in Yuma, Ariz., a town that borders the Golden State.
In these areas, most major sources of jobs have taken a hit in the economic downturn. Construction jobs, plentiful during the boom years, have dried up as fewer new homes are built. At the same time, those would-be construction workers are competing with farm workers for agricultural jobs that have also been cut back due to a severe water shortage in the state.
The state government's budget troubles have led to layoffs for tens of thousands of workers.