The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) released a new report about the nation’s unemployment crisis at this week’s annual meeting. The report predicts that 75 of the nation’s metropolitan areas will still see double-digit unemployment rates through the rest of this year while other communities won’t return to pre-recession levels for a decade.

The report, U.S. Metro Economies: GMP and Employment Forecasts (PDF), assessed the employment situation in 363 metropolitan areas. According to the report, the national unemployment rate won’t fall below 8 percent until 2013, and by the end of 2012 there will still be 69 metropolitan areas with double-digit unemployment rates.

Communities that will see 10 percent or higher unemployment for the next few years include Stockton, Modesto, Fresno and Bakersfield, Calif.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Detroit, Mich.; and the following Florida communities: Cape Coral–Fort Myers, Lakeland–Winter Haven, Miami-Fort Lauderdale and the Tampa–St. Petersburg area.

The report also included a map with return-to-peak employment predictions for the nation. Unfortunately, several areas will not see this happen until after 2016, including:

  • Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Tampa–St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • New Orleans, La.
  • Detroit, Mich.
  • Sacramento, Calif.
  • Portions of Northern Ohio
In fact, the return-to-peak employment is not expected anytime this decade in Cleveland, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown in Ohio and the Detroit metropolitan area in Michigan.

This unemployment forecast did come with an important caveat: the predictions are only valid if the debt ceiling is raised and there are no disruptions in the nation’s economic system. If that happens then all bets are off.

Read more by downloading the report: U.S. Metro Economies: GMP and Employment Forecasts (PDF).