New job creation will barely outpace growth in the labor force in 2011, and 75 of 363 U.S. metros will still have double-digit unemployment by the end of the year, according to a report commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
The report, prepared by IHS Global Insight, forecasts that the national unemployment rate will drop from the current 9.1 percent to 8.6 percent by the end of the year but stay above 8 percent until late 2013.
Before the recession, only 50 metro economies had jobless rates above 6 percent, compared with 331 in April. The report concludes that by 2015 unemployment will still exceed 6 percent in 198 metros, and be above 10 percent in 13 markets.
Washington, D.C., and Oklahoma City will continue to be among the large metros with the lowest jobless rates, the report said, while the rate is forecast to remain the highest among communities in California’s Central Valley.
"The sputtering housing market is certainly having a significant negative impact on the California metros, as well as Las Vegas and the struggling metropolitan areas of Florida," the report said. "These areas were highly dependent on inflated real estate markets, and the housing collapse has resulted in very high unemployment."
Nationally, employment isn’t expected to return to 2008 peaks until the first half of 2014, and the report forecasts a "lost decade" for 48 metro markets won’t rebound to peak employment until after 2020.
Members of the Conference of Mayors said the report demonstrates urgent job creation assistance is needed, and that Congress should not cut programs like Community Development Block Grants that local governments rely on to provide basic services.