WASHINGTON ( TheStreet) -- The U.S. unemployment rate crept back up to 9% last week, but some cities are feeling the pain far worse than others.
Roughly 112 metro areas in the U.S. are still dealing with 10% unemployment or greater. That's down from 166 at the same time last year, but tell that to folks in El Centro, Calif., where nearly one in every four people is unemployed. The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario area in California is still dealing with nearly 14% unemployment, while the 13.3% unemployment in Las Vegas is not only driving up foreclosures, but driving down traffic to its McCarran airport. Passenger numbers fell off 2.6% last year.
On the other side of the recovery, more than 210 cities are below the average U.S. rate and 65 areas dipped below 7%. If you've got a sweet gig at the University of Nebraska or have a steady buyer for your grain or corn-based ethanol, count yourself among the lucky residents of Lincoln, Neb., who aren't part of the city's absurdly low 4.1% unemployment rate. That's still up from 3% just two years ago, however, and is only a hair better than the 4.2% rate in Bismarck, N.D.
It takes more than just a low unemployment rate in a small town to show the world you've weathered years of recession-fueled financial woes. With help from the Census Department, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, TheStreet found 10 U.S. cities that not only withstood the economic downturn, but seemingly ignored it: