Ed Driscoll

Ten U.S. Cities In Freefall

California cities are well-represented in a new list assembled by Forbes:

Riverside, Los Angeles and Sacramento are suffering because of the knocks they took after their inflated housing markets began to plummet. Unemployment in the City of Angels has nearly tripled in three years, to 12%. Riverside’s unemployment has also ballooned, to 15%. Meanwhile Sacramento saw a 75% drop in new building permits. These are troubling signs for Cali metros, but not surprising. The end of the state’s home-price climb triggered more than just a housing slump.

“In California, so many jobs were concentrated in construction,” says Michael Fratantoni, vice president of research at the Mortgage Bankers Association, the professional association for real estate financiers. “Jobs building single family homes wound up not being sustainable, and there were a lot of job losses.”

The long-term consequences of the housing crash in these cities are still playing out, and new factors that complicate a recovery keep cropping up.

“Places like Phoenix and Riverside may take even longer to recover because people might just pick up and leave to go to places doing better,” says Fratantoni. “It may make more sense to leave, rather than wait for jobs to return.”

Go midwest, young gender-indeterminate person!

Related: California unemployment hits 12.6.