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In 2009, the national annual unemployment rate was 9.3%. Five of the 50 largest metropolitan areas had unemployment rates over 11.3%—2 percentage points above the national rate—while seven experienced rates that were less than 7.3%—2 percentage points below the national rate.


Only one metro area had a white unemployment rate above 11.3% (Detroit, 13.8%). Nine metro areas had a Hispanic unemployment rate above 11.3%, and 14 had a black unemployment rate above that level.


No metropolitan area had a black unemployment rate below 7.3%, and only two areas had Hispanic unemployment rates below 7.3%. Nearly half of the areas—24—had white unemployment rates below that level.

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About Elisabeth Ward