The COVID-19 pandemic was disastrous for U.S. employment, but the job market is showing signs of healing due to states reopening. The national unemployment rate is currently at 5.8%, which is 61% lower than the peak of 14.8% during the height of the pandemic. The country has been able to make a lot of progress thanks to the distribution of the vaccine, but it will likely take a long time for the unemployment rate to return to the historic low it experienced prior to the coronavirus crisis. Some cities’ jobs have weathered the storm better than others, though.
In order to identify where workers have been most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, WalletHub compared 180 cities based on four key metrics. We looked at the change in each city’s unemployment during the latest month for which we have data (May 2021) compared to May 2019, May 2020 and January 2020. We also considered each city’s overall unemployment rate.
Please note that this report relies on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which disclosed that it misclassified some workers on temporary layoffs as “absent from work because of other reasons” rather than “unemployed.” Therefore, the real unemployment rate in May might be around 5% higher than reported. For this reason, WalletHub has included two columns for the unemployment rate in the table below, one with the officially reported unemployment rate and one with the “adjusted” rate after accounting for the misclassification.