Top Ten U.S. Counties With Highest Unemployment Rates (PHOTOS)

on February 17 2011 9:55 PM
  • Hoonah–Angoon Census Area, Alaska—21.4 percent
    Very similar to adjacent Skagway, Hoonah-Angoon comprises scattered coastal communities in Southeast Alaska, with a heavy focus on commercial fishing and tourism (two highly seasonal occupations). However, a great many have lost jobs in construction.
  • Baraga County, Michigan – 21.1 percent
    Yet another depressed rural county in northern Michigan, Baraga is located on the Upper Peninsula on the shore of Lake Superior. Tourism and hunting/fishing offer seasonal jobs, however Baraga has also suffered from the loss of some factories, including The Terex Handlers plant. Ironically, a local Indian casino is one of the county’s largest employers.
  • Oscoda County, Michigan-21.5 percent
    Located in northern Michigan, Oscoda is one of several depressed largely rural agricultural areas of the state -- quite a world away from Detroit which has entirely different type of depressed economy. Creative Commons
  • Sutter County, California-21.5 percent
    Very similar to the situation in nearby Colusa County. A largely agricultural economy with a seasonal workforce.
  • Mackinac County, Michigan-21.9 percent
    Mackinac County is located in the remote, largely rural Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Part of the reason for the high unemployment can be traced to the seasonality of tourism, fishing and hunting, but there have also been job cuts in the construction and food service sectors.
  • Hancock County, Georgia-22.3 percent
    Located in Central Georgia, Hancock County is overwhelmingly African-American and also one of the poorest counties in the state. However, at the onset of the recession, in the summer of 2009, the jobless rate was only 7.7 percent. It has since tripled, partially due to the closure of some manufacturing plants. Creative Commons
  • Yuma County, Arizona-23.2 percent
    Yuma County is located in the southwestern corner of Arizona, next to the Mexican border. Although joblessness has been exacerbated by the seasonal nature of its agricultural sector, the region has also been hit by store closures, manufacturing layoffs and business cutbacks.
  • Colusa County, California-25.2 percent
    Located in the Central Valley, north of Sacramento, Colusa County is dominated by its agricultural economy, hence a high amount of seasonal jobs.
  • Skagway Borough municipality, Alaska-27.8 percent
    Located on the Alaska panhandle, near the British Columbia bored, the Skagway area suffers significant seasonal swings in its joblessness. In the summer, it has bustling fishing and tourism sectors, but by the winter jobs in these areas temporarily vanish.
  • Imperial County, Calif.—28.3 percent
    Located in the southeastern corner of California, just above the Mexican border, unemployment is always high in Imperial County due to the significant seasonal agricultural economy. The jobless rate here actually came down from the prior month, when it exceeded 30 percent. Creative Commons
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The Great Recession has thrown millions of American into joblessness over the past three years. While it appears that unemployment is now finally showing some signs of easing – or at least stabilizing – some areas of the country remain the worst-hit.Here is a list of the Ten U.S. Counties with the highest unemployment rates (as of Dec. 2010, when the national jobless rate clocked in at 9.4 percent).However, it should be noted, that in most of these localities, unemployment is almost always very high, due to the seasonal nature of the local economy.

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