The 35 Most Troubled Cities in America

Happy days are here again! Except in these 35 metropolitan areas.

As everyone is well aware by now, when you push aside the talk about federal deficits, rising oil prices and the return of excessive executive pay, almost every individual's feeling of prosperity is tied to two things: jobs and housing. For most of us, a job and a home make for a pretty good life. Mess with either, or in a worst-case scenario, both of those things, and our lives become much, much more difficult.

Every month, Moody's and msnbc.com join forces to compile what they call the "Adversity Index." The Adversity Index uses four pieces of information to measure the year-over-year changes in those two sensitive areas -- employment and housing.

In regards to employment, the Adversity Index looks at both the unemployment rate and the growth/decline in industrial production. And for housing, the index uses single family housing starts and housing prices to measure the health of the residential real estate market.

What makes the Adversity Index so interesting is that the data is highly localized, allowing us to really focus on the pocket of growth or recession that is most important to us -- the one we live in. After all, it doesn't matter if unemployment is down nationwide if people are still getting laid off in our own communities.

And according to the Adversity Index, these 35 metro areas are still struggling to get back on their feet after the recent Great Recession:

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