Mayors say lost jobs won't be back until 2020

Job seekers Adriana Miunoz, 20, second from left, and Isha Hawkins 19, register for jobs at the 10th annual Skid Row Career Fair in Los Angeles June 2, 2011.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors said Monday that there are 48 metropolitan areas that won't see the jobs lost in this recession return until 2020.

At a meeting in Baltimore, the mayors voted to ask the president to end the war in Afghanistan and to spend that money on jobs at home.

Unemployment has surged across the country and stayed higher, longer than in any past recession. CBS News correspondent John Blackstone took a look at the people behind the numbers in San Francisco.

On a busy city street it can be hard to guess who is unemployed. Lock Bingham, 32 years old with an MBA, has been searching for a job for almost a year.

"I have never looked for a job as hard or as long as I am now, that's for sure," Bingham said. "So, certainly comparing today to five years ago, it's a completely different world."

Bingham last worked in the finance industry in San Francisco, a metropolitan area that has lost 166,000 jobs since 2008. The study by the Mayor's Conference predicts it will be 2015 before that number of jobs returns to the region.

And San Francisco is recovering more quickly than many cities. Detroit has lost 323,000 jobs and won't get all those back until sometime after 2021, according to the report. Likewise the metro regions of Atlantic City, N.J., Flint, Mich., and Reno, Nev. will wait at least another decade to replace all the jobs lost in this recession.

It means the competition for every available job is daunting.

"The feedback I have gotten is there are a lot of candidates out there right now that have exactly the experience they are looking for," Bingham said.

That competition with others who are out of work is why Candice Williams is trying something completely new. After she was laid off from her desk job in customer service, she enrolled in a San Francisco city program to train construction workers, and claims not to be discouraged by predictions that job growth here will be slow for years.

"For me, I look at the big picture. I see the glass as being half full instead of half empty. I know there's something out there," she said.

But the search will remain challenging. Today's report predicts 75 metropolitan areas will still have double digit unemployment through the end of this year. And nationally, unemployment won't go below 8 percent until 2013.

  • John Blackstone

    From his base in San Francisco, CBS News correspondent John Blackstone covers breaking stories throughout the West. That often means he is on the scene of wildfires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and rumbling volcanoes. He also reports on the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley and on social and economic trends that frequently begin in the West.