The 11 Worst-Performing Cities in America

Joshua Berlinger

While the U.S. recovery creeps forward, some cities are getting left behind.

We identified the weakest economic recoveries based on the latest MetroMonitor from the Brookings Institute, which looks at employment, unemployment, production, and home prices. They're located in places like upstate New York, where the initial housing crash was less dramatic, but the slowdown more prolonged.

#1 Little Rock, Arkansas

-- Unemployment rate down 0.7 percentage points since 2011Q3
-- Employment up 0.7% since 2010Q1
-- Gross metro product up 2.9% since 2010Q1
-- Home prices at a new low in 2012Q1




#2 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

-- Unemployment rate down 0.9 percentage points since 2010Q1
-- Employment down 1.2% since 2010Q1
-- Gross metro product up 1.5% since 2009Q3
-- Home prices at a new low in 2012Q1




#3 Virginia Beach, Virginia

-- Unemployment down 1.1 percentage points since 2010Q1
-- Employment up 1.5% since 2010Q1
-- Gross metro product up 1.0% since 2012Q1
-- Home prices at a new low in 2012Q1




#4 Albany, New York

-- Unemployment hit a new high in 2012Q2
-- Employment up 1.7% since 2011Q1
-- Gross metro product up 5.0% since 2009Q3
-- Home prices at a new low in 2012Q1




#5 Buffalo, New York

-- Unemployment hit a new high in 2012Q2
-- Employment up 1.8% since 2009Q4
-- Gross metro product up 5.1% since 2009Q2
-- Home prices at a new low in 2012Q




#6 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

-- Unemployment rate down 0.7 percentage points since 2010Q1
-- Employment up 1.4% since 2010Q1
-- Gross metro product up 3.4% since 2009Q3
-- Home prices at a new low in 2012Q1




#7 Honolulu, Hawaii

-- Unemployment rate down 0.2 percentage points since 2009Q4
-- Employment up 2.5% since 2009Q4
-- Gross metro product up 3.6% since 2009Q3
-- Home prices at a new low in 2012Q1




#8 Jackson, Mississippi

-- Unemployment rate is down 1.3 percentage points since 2010Q1
-- Employment up 1.8% since 2010Q1
-- Gross metro product up 1.0% since 2009Q3
-- Home prices at a new low in 2012Q1




#9 Syracuse, New York

-- Unemployment hit a new high in 2012Q2
-- Employment up 1.8% since 2010Q1
-- Gross metro product up 6.5% since 2009Q2
-- Home prices at a new low in 2012Q1




#10 Poughkeepsie, New York

-- Unemployment hit a new high in 2012Q2
-- Employment up 2.2% since 2009Q3
-- Gross metro product up 6.1% since 2009Q2
-- Home prices at a new low in 2012Q1




#11 Albuquerque, New Mexico

-- Unemployment down 1.4 percentage points since 2010Q3
-- Employment at a new low in 2012Q2
-- Gross metro product up 5.0% since 2008Q2
-- Home prices at a new low in 2012Q1





Data provided by the Brookings' MetroMonitor. Gross Metro Product and Home Prices are tracked from Trough to 2012Q2. Unemployment and Employment are tracked from Trough to 2012Q1.