US Cities With the Highest Rates of Unemployment

Unemployment can seriously decrease quality of life.
Unemployment can seriously decrease quality of life.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, an unemployed person is an individual who is available to work and is actively looking for a job. Unemployment can be brought on by various factors including the condition of the economy, population, education levels in the country, and global competition. The following American cities recorded the highest rates of unemployment in the year 2013.

Top 4 Cities

1. Detroit, Michigan - 25%

In 2013, the rate of unemployment in Detroit was 25%, and the city had the highest number of unemployed people in the US. Detroit's high rate of unemployment was attributed to the decline in the city's automobile industry due to global competition. The nation still was not fully over the effects of the economic recession that occurred between 2007 and 2009. Another cause for the high percentage of unemployment was the increased crime rate. The city filed bankruptcy cases against its debtors because they could not meet their financial needs.

2. Cleveland, Ohio - 18%

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, 18% of Cleveland's population was unemployed in 2013, making it the city with the second highest rate of unemploymenr. It was found that only 15% of older members of the workforce were able to get full-time jobs after previously having lost them.

3. Philadelphia, PA - 14%

Philadelphia was ranked third regarding unemployment in 2013. Employment opportunities in the manufacturing and leisure industries shrank in 2013. This effected many individuals and resulted in job loss. Jobs in the local government decreased significantly which explains the high unemployment rates. Economic instability also rendered many people jobless.

4. Chicago, IL - 13%

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of unemployment in Chicago was 13%. A decline in the construction industry and manufacturing sector were contributing factors to the rate. The decline in industries led to economic distress which directly affected employment. Although jobs in the retail and financial sectors were picking up in other cities, the opposite was occurring in Chicago.


If strategies are put into place to prevent job loss, the rate of unemployment will decrease. The improvement of training and educational level of a city also helps to boost employment. This is because individuals are equipped with relevant skills that are required in the job market. Industrialization and improvement in trade are the leading causes of employment.

US Cities With the Highest Rates of Unemployment

Rank´╗┐CityUnemployed Population Percentage (2013)
1Detroit, MI25
2Cleveland, OH18
3Philadelphia, PA14
4Chicago, IL13
5Oakland, CA13
6Sacramento, CA13
7Long Beach, CA12
8Las Vegas, NV12
9Baltimore, MD11
10Los Angeles, CA12

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