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Detroit leads metro areas with record 17 percent unemployment rate

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Paul Sancya/AP

(Read caption) From left: Jamal Randle, Loren Cowling, and Dave Jackson fill out applications for positions at a new bar and restaurant in Detroit. Unemployment in the metro area hit a record 17 percent in August, the US Department of Labor reported Wednesday.

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What a difference a year makes! Last August, metropolitan areas like Modesto, Calif., Daytona Beach, Fla., and Rocky Mount, N.C., had worse unemployment than Detroit.

Today, Motor City is the one that's sputtering. Its 17 percent unemployment rate in August is a record for the metro area in 26 years of federal recordkeeping. It's also the highest rate of any US metropolitan area with at least 1 million residents, the US Department of Labor reported Wednesday.

In a single year, metro Detroit (which includes Warren and Livonia, Mich.) also saw the biggest jobless rate increase – 7.9 percentage points – of any metro area in the United States.

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