A staggering 22 million jobs have been lost in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic so far. To identify which cities are most susceptible to rising unemployment, WalletHub has released a new report.
‘Cities with the Biggest Growth in Unemployment to COVID-19’ identifies where businesses and workers have been worse affected by the pandemic. WalletHub, the personal finance website, compared the unemployment rates of 180 cities across the US. The data compared the unemployment rates in March 2020 to those in March 2019 and January 2020.
10 Cities Hit Hardest by Coronavirus Unemployment
The research found that the ten most affected cities for unemployment during coronavirus are:
- Seattle, WA
- Hialeah, FL
- North Las Vegas, NV
- Miami, FL
- Henderson, NV
- Las Vegas, NV
- Aurora, CO
- Denver, CO
- Cleveland, OH
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Reno, NV
- Dover, DE
- Orlando, FL
- Port St. Lucie, FL
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Long Beach, CA
- Santa Clarita, CA
- Los Angeles, CA
- Chicago, IL
- Fort Lauderdale, FL
Unemployment Risen Sharply Since January 2020
One of the worse hit cities Seattle, has seen an 86.92% change in unemployment between March 2020 and March 2019. Between March 2020 and January 2020, the changes to unemployment have been shocking. Hialeah, for example, has witnessed a 145.91% change in unemployment figures during this period.
The report notes how many of the jobs lost in recent weeks have been in non-essential industries. Businesses operating in non-essential industries including tourism, dining and entertainment, have been forced to closed during the pandemic. Even those that have remained open have had to lay off employees and have been hit hard by the shock impact to the economy.
Picking Up After Lockdown Will Be Difficult
The research confirms just how difficult it will be for small businesses in these cities to pick up when lockdown is lifted. The findings highlight the importance of providing local businesses with financial support.
As Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst, commented in a Q&A session:
“Cities can minimize the increase in their unemployment rates by providing support to local industries hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as tourism, retail or entertainment. Though cities don’t have control over when these businesses can reopen, they could provide tax breaks (similar to what the federal government is doing) in order to incentivize businesses to keep employees on the payroll.
“Some major city mayors are also drawing money from reserve funds or reallocating money that would have been used for less-essential purposes in order to help workers. Mayors can also use their influence to lobby Congress to provide aid to struggling local communities, which several major city mayors have done so far,” Gonzalez continued.
For small businesses, it is important they are informed about the support available to them. It is vital small businesses take advantage of incentives available to help keep staff on the payroll. By getting such support, small businesses will be better equipped to pick up the pieces when shutdown is lifted.
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