Where's it worst? Detroit, where 57 mass layoffs snuffed out 14,781 jobs in the first quarter of 2009. Much of the pain came from the Big Three carmakers: General Motors ( GM - news - people ), Chrysler and Ford Motor ( F - news - people ). The area has the highest unemployment rate in the country at 14%.

Chicago runs a close second with 13,647 jobs erased in mass firings. Construction-heavy Los Angeles, also hurt by the Golden Stateís financial crisis, wiped out 10,594. Finance-focused New York lost 8,688 during the first quarter of 2009. Houston also made the list with 7,184 job losses; Dallas had 4,784.

Larger cities were bound to get singled out: They attract big corporations with big payrolls that require big cuts to make meaningful differences to their bottom lines. At the state level, California had the most mass layoffs with 115,014 workers let go, followed by Michigan with 46,817, Illinois with 41,887 and Texas with a more modest 33,005.

Mass layoffs put even more strain on a cityís economy than gradual job cuts. Local governments have to quickly find a way to help newly unemployed workers. "You really donít want to get hit with mass layoffs because you now have a large number of people who need resources and it really tends to overwhelm the public sector," said Joel Naroff, an economist at Naroff Advisers.