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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Be glad you don't live in El Centro, Calif., where unemployment is 30%

The October metro area unemployment numbers came out this afternoon from the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. For poor little El Centro, Calif., the news just keeps getting worse.

Back in April, unemployment in El Centro was already 25 percent. Now, it's up to 30 percent.

Keep in mind the national unemployment rate is 10.2 percent.

El Centro is near the California-Mexico border. It is a heavily Spanish-speaking city of about 40,000. Much of the employment is seasonal and agricultural, so that partly accounts for big swings in joblessness. Also, Spanish-speaking laborers were heavily employed in the housing construction industry, which boomed in California, and is now bust. Finally, as if that all weren't bad enough, much of the rest of El Centro's employment comes from the city and state government, and the sorry state of California's budget crisis is well known.

Elsewhere in the country, The Post's Dion Haynes reports that unemployment in the Washington region rose slightly in October.

(The regional unemployment numbers: the District, 12.1 percent; greater Washington area, 6.2 percent.)

Here are some other places you'd probably rather not live and their unemployment rates:

-- Yuba City, Calif: 17.6 percent.

-- Palm Coast, Fla.: 16.1 percent.

-- Rockford, Ill.: 15.7 percent.

-- Detroit, Mich.: 16.7 percent.

-- Rocky Mount, N.C.: 13.7 percent.

-- Bend, Oregon: 13.7 percent.

-- Guyama, Puerto Rico: 22.2 percent.

Now, here are some of the metro areas with the nation's lowest unemployment rates:

-- Bismarck, N.D.: 2.8 percent. (The state's population is so low, there literally are not enough people for the jobs there.)

-- Rapid City, S.D.: 4.6 percent. (Same deal.)

-- Honolulu, Hawaii: 5.9 percent. (As if living in paradise wasn't good enough on its own.)

-- Ames, Iowa: 4 percent. (College town -- Iowa State U.)

-- Manhattan, Kansas: 3.6 percent. (Kansas State U.)

-- Lincoln, Neb.: 4.2 percent. (U. of Nebraska.)

-- Logan, Utah: 4.4 percent. (Utah State U.)

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  December 2, 2009; 3:21 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: unemployment  
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