Time Clock: Trouble Centers

While U.S. employment stands at a record high of 67.2 million, there are some areas where unemployment is becoming a permanent problem. Secretary of Labor James P. Mitchell last week classified 70 such U.S. areas as centers of "chronic labor surplus" because unemployment has been at least 50% higher than the national average over four of the past five years. Of the 3,426,000 workers idle in August, Mitchell estimated that 500,000 were in the 70 most distressed areas. Seventeen of the areas, including Detroit, Providence and Charleston, W.Va., were officially labeled as "chronic" for the first time. Reasons: depletion of natural...

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