Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Unemployment rates moved higher in all of the nation's largest metropolitan areas in February.
The government says Indiana's Elkhart-Goshen and North Carolina's Hickory-Lenoir-Morgantown regions registered the biggest annual increases.
The U.S. Labor Department reports that all 372 metropolitan areas tracked saw their jobless rates rise in February from a year earlier.
Elkhart-Goshen and Hickory-Lenoir-Morgantown were both hammered by manufacturing layoffs.
Eklhart-Goshen's jobless rate soared to 18%, up 12.5 percentage points. The area has been battered by layoffs in the recreational vehicle industry. RV makers Monaco Coach, Keystone RV and Pilgrim International have cut hundreds of jobs.
The unemployment rate in Hickory-Lenoir-Morgantown, hit by layoffs at furniture makers, jumped to 15.7%, a 9.3 percentage point increase.
Fallout from housing, credit and financial crises — the worst since the 1930s — is forcing companies to lay off workers and resort to other cost-saving measures to survive the recession.