South Side Neighborhoods Own Second Worst Jobless Rate in US

Nation's second highest unemployment rate

By Steve Rhodes
|  Wednesday, Nov 25, 2009  |  Updated 12:04 PM CDT
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South Side Neighborhoods Own Second Worst Jobless Rate in US

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Only the northeast corner of Detroit has an unemployment problem worse than the South Side of Chicago.

Combined with the predation of the subprime mortgage industry, the rate of foreclosures and other economic indicators, you might say, then, that Ground Zero of the nation's economic misery is right here.

Jay Cutler isn't our biggest problem.

According to an analysis by the Chicago Reporter, the South Side neighborhoods of Englewood, West Englewood, Auburn Gresham, and Washington Heights have a collective unemployment rate of at least 23.2 percent.

That's just using official data; the reality is surely worse.

Only Detroit has a cluster that is worse off than ours.

We are already another Detroit. Half of the city always has been.

The Austin neighborhood on the West Side has the nation's seventh-highest unemployment rate.

There are few jobs there to "save," much less create.

But the stimulus bill is keeping actors working at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

The real tragedy is playing a very long run far from Navy Pier. It's a timeless story that appears to have no end.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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