The Cities Hit Hardest By The Recession: Brookings Institution (PHOTOS)

In a new report out this week, the Brookings Institution tracks the uneven impact of the downturn on employment levels across the country's 100 largest metropolitan areas.

As you might expect, some of the cities which were most damaged by the recession were closely tied to the housing bubble -- Las Vegas, several cities in Florida and foreclosure epicenter Riverside, California all ranked among those with the biggest employment declines since the downturn began.

Employment levels in metro areas in Texas, the Great Plains and parts of upstate New York fell by 3 percent, but nine of the country's metro areas saw employment fall by at least 10 percent. Some of the worst losses were concentrated in Florida, California, the Great Lakes region and parts of the West.

And as for the best performing areas, just one -- the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas metro area, which crept up 0.7% -- saw its jobs situation improve compared to its pre-recession peak.

Check out the cities that have been the most ravaged by the recession here: