Although the recession technically ended two years ago, 48 metro areas – including Detroit, Reno and Toledo, among others – won’t return to their pre-recession, peak employment levels until 2020 or beyond, giving credence to the idea of a “new normal” in many parts of the country.
Those findings are among the projections in a new report released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors that reveals many cities will continue to struggle with unemployment for years to come. At the end of the year, 75 metro areas will still be struggling with double-digit unemployment, according to the report. The situation is projected to improve only slightly in 2012, when 69 metro areas will finish the year with unemployment rates in excess of 10 percent.
“The large number of metros with stubbornly high unemployment highlights the protracted period to recovery and is a sharp contrast to the swift velocity at which the economy deteriorated,” the authors wrote in the report.
The report was prepared by economic forecasters IHS Global Insight in conjunction with the conference’s economic team.
Overall, the study projects that employment won’t return to its pre-recession peak until the first half of 2014.
Still, there is some good news. Although double-digit unemployment currently exists in 103 metro areas, that number is down from 150 a year ago, largely due to Midwest cities that are starting to rebound from manufacturing layoffs in 2008 and 2009.
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