If President Obama wants to understand the impact of an economic recovery that's leaving American workers behind, he should visit the San Joaquin Valley. This region is home to six of the 10 metropolitan areas with the worst unemployment rates in the nation.
The economy may be improving, but it would be difficult to persuade the thousands of out-of-work Valley residents that things are looking up.
The six Valley communities cited in a U.S. Labor Department report have unemployment rates that run from 16.4% in Hanford-Corcoran to 18.6% in Merced. The other Valley cities on the list are Fresno (16.9%), Visalia-Porterville (16.8%), Modesto (17.2%) and Stockton (17.5%).
The Merced unemployment rate is almost twice the national rate of 9.8%. While the president should rightfully be concerned about the national jobless rate, he should be doing much more in regions where the unemployment rate is approaching 20%.
The Valley's jobless problem is a key reason the Valley has some of the nation's highest home foreclosure rates, and related problems.
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