This corner of California is suffering economic misery despite boom all around it

As California has rebounded from the Great Recession, the Imperial Valley has largely defied attempts to expand its economy beyond seasonal farming and government work, and the county continues to suffer the highest unemployment rates in the state.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest five-year estimate, Imperial County’s unemployment rate stands at 16% — four times greater than the state’s overall jobless rate of 4.2%.

“It’s much better than it was in 2009, when El Centro was mentioned as the highest unemployment in the nation at almost 30%,” county Supervisor Ryan Kelley said. “This is supposed to be the recovery, and every time there is a recovery, we seem to be the least-benefiting area.”

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