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The recession in a nutshell: 371 of 372 metropolitan areas in the country recorded higher unemployment rates in September 2009 than September 2008. The only area to register a decrease in unemployment was Houma, La., and surrounding areas, and that, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, is only because Houma was hit by Hurricane Gustav last year so of course the statistics are all fubared.

Of all places in the country with populations of 1 million or more, the highest unemployment rate is in Detroit at 17.3 percent, followed by Riverside, Calif., at 14.2 percent, and Las Vegas at 13.9 percent.

Oklahoma City, Okla., is the metropolitan area with the country’s lowest unemployment rate at 5.9 percent, followed by Washington/Arlington/Alexandria at 6.2 percent and the Virginia Beach area at 6.7 percent.