Top 10 cities in economic free fall

By Dr. Jerome R. Corsi

The next time the mainstream media report the U.S. economy is now in recovery mode, remember that Forbes has identified 10 U.S. cities that are in "economic free fall," such that "economic indicators in these metros have gone from bad to worse with no sign of recovery."

The 10 leading free-fall cities are:

1) Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla.;
2) Tampa-Clearwater, Fla.;
3) Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.;
4) Jacksonville, Fla.;
5) Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.;
6) Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif.;
7) Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla.;
8) Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, Calif.;
9) Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.;
10) Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, Rhode Island – Massachusetts

The bottom line is that alarming rates of unemployment, a deepening home foreclosure market, businesses shutting their doors and bankruptcies belie the myth of a recovery in top U.S. cities across the nation.

To find the nation's cities in economic free fall, Forbes rated the largest 40 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas, or MSAs, on six metrics:

1) net population change;
2) per capita gross domestic product;
3) change in new building permits, February 2007 to February 2010;
4) change in unemployment, February 2007 to February 2010;
5) change in new jobs added, February 2007 to February 2010; and
6) change in median home price from market peak

"Miami boasts a popular South Beach club scene, Art Deco architecture and perhaps the best Cuban food in the country," Francesca Levy wrote in Forbes. "But residents don't have much else to celebrate."

Median home prices in Miami have fallen 38 percent since its market peaked in the second quarter of 2007; the city's 11 percent unemployment rate is above the national average and grown more than most of the 40 MSAs surveyed.

Cities in the "sand states" of Florida, California, Arizona and Nevada suffered from rampant overbuilding and vanishing jobs.

Citing "grim news for the Golden State," Forbes noted unemployment in Los Angeles has tripled in three years to 15 percent, while Riverside's unemployment has grown to 15 percent.

With so many jobs concentrated in construction, states like California, Nevada and Florida were hard hurt by the bursting of the home-mortgage bubble in 2006, with the bubble in commercial real estate likely to bust soon as well.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jerome R. Corsi received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in political science in 1972. He is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling books THE OBAMA NATION: LEFTIST POLITICS AND THE CULT OF PERSONALITY and the co-author of UNFIT FOR COMMAND: SWIFT BOAT VETERANS SPEAK OUT AGAINST JOHN KERRY. He is also the author of AMERICA FOR SALE, THE LATE GREAT U.S.A., and WHY ISRAEL CAN'T WAIT. He is a regular contributor to

ABOUT RED ALERT: Jerome Corsi's RED ALERT is your weekly, global financial strategies newsletter. Designed to be your guide to economic trends in the best of times and the worst of times, it is edited by New York Times best-selling author Jerome Corsi, a WND staff writer and columnist. For 25 years, Corsi worked with banks throughout the U.S. and the world developing financial services marketing companies to assist banks in establishing broker/dealers and insurance subsidiaries to provide financial planning products and services to their retail customers. Corsi developed three third-party financial services marketing firms that reached annual gross sales levels of $1 billion in annuities and equal volume in mutual funds. Corsi received his Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University in 1972.