The economy gained 235,000 jobs in August, and the national unemployment rate is now 5.2%, which is 65% below the peak of 14.8% during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To provide more context at the city level, a recently released report on the Cities Whose Unemployment Rates Are Bouncing Back Most shares give more insight.
This report uses new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which disclosed that it didn’t count some workers on temporary layoffs as unemployed.
Therefore, the real unemployment rate may be around 6% higher than reported, and the report includes the official rate and an “adjusted” rate based on this error.
Below, you can see highlights from the report.
|Most Recovered Cities|
|1. Lincoln, NE||11. Huntsville, AL|
|2. Omaha, NE||12. West Valley City, UT|
|3. Missoula, MT||13. Manchester, NH|
|4. Salt Lake City, UT||14. Tulsa, OK|
|5. Oklahoma City, OK||15. Rapid City, SD|
|6. Boise, ID||16. Bismarck, ND|
|7. Billings, MT||17. Nampa, ID|
|8. Fargo, ND||18. Nashua, NH|
|9. Sioux Falls, SD||19. Fort Smith, AR|
|10. Springfield, MO||20. Burlington, VT|
Some experts also weighed in on the report’s findings.
What qualities should unemployed people look for when choosing which businesses to apply to?
“The biggest thing that unemployed people should look for when choosing which businesses to apply to is compensation that’s appropriate for their field and skill level. Since there is currently an employment shortage, workers are in a great position to negotiate a worthwhile compensation package,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Other desirable features are the ability to work from home at least part of the time, measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a positive and friendly workplace environment, and a short commute.”
What do you make of the fact that the poverty rate in the U.S. recently reached the highest point since the start of the pandemic?
“Even though the U.S. poverty rate recently reached the highest point since the start of the pandemic due to high unemployment and the expiration of some unemployment benefits, this number should change soon. The estimate was taken before the American Rescue Plan went into effect, while people were still struggling with a lapse in key support measures for the unemployed,” Gonzalez said. “Getting people back to work is key to fixing the high poverty rate, too, and as more people get vaccinated and the country continues to reopen, the unemployment rate will decline.”
Should cities have more restrictions than states if they see cases rising locally, even if it hurts employment?
“Public health should take precedence, so cities can choose to have more restrictions than states if there is a local spike in COVID-19 cases,” she noted. “It’s important to keep in mind that local lockdowns are only effective under certain conditions. Unless the flow of people to and from highly-affected areas gets restricted, the virus will spread wherever infected people travel.”
Los Angeles has experienced the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. How has the unemployment rate in Los Angeles been affected?
“Los Angeles has experienced a 92% increase in unemployment from January 2020 to August 2021,” Gonzalez said. “This is worse than the average increase of 45%. The overall unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 9.7%, compared to the average of 5.2%.”
To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit here.