Rural towns in border regions continued to struggle in October as the rest of the country limped toward recovery, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics out Wednesday.
While 329 of the country’s 372 major metropolitan areas saw drops in their unemployment rates, high joblessness persists in Yuma, Ariz., and El Centro, Calif., which had rates of 29.8% and 28.1%, respectively. Both areas, located on the border with Mexico, have had consistently high unemployment rates during the recession as people move home to be with family after they lose their jobs.
By contrast, the unemployment rate in Bismarck, N.D., was 2.2%. The state has experienced a booming economy and housing shortages as companies explore its plains for oil.
While unemployment plagues the smaller cities the most, big cities in the West – those with a population of 1 million and above – are still suffering as well. The Riverside-San Bernardino area and Las Vegas had the highest unemployment rates of big cities, at 11.7% and 11.1%, respectively.