28. Yuba City, CA
> Unemployment rate, June 2020: 15.2%
> Year-to-date employment change: -17.4%
> Cumulative COVID-19 cases to date: 925 (540 per 100,000 people)
> Poverty rate: 15.1%
> Population: 174,848
About one in every six jobs that existed in Yuba City at the beginning of the year have now disappeared. Over the same period, the metro area’s unemployment rate jumped from 6.5% to 15.2%.
Americans with no education beyond high school are nearly twice as likely to be unemployed as those with a bachelor’s degree. In Yuba City, only 18.0% of the adult population has a bachelor’s degree, compared to 32.6% of American adults nationwide.
27. Worcester, MA-CT
> Unemployment rate, June 2020: 15.5%
> Year-to-date employment change: -15.7%
> Cumulative COVID-19 cases to date: 13,808 (1,471 per 100,000 people)
> Poverty rate: 9.3%
> Population: 947,866
The Worcester, Massachusetts, metro area, which includes parts of Connecticut, has an unemployment rate of 15.5% — well above the 11.1% national jobless rate. The metro area is one of several in Massachusetts with an economy that has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since January, Worcester has shed over 55,000 jobs.
COVID-19 has also taken a considerable toll on public health in Worcester. As of late July, there were 1,471 cases for every 100,000 people in the area, compared to 1,309 cases per 100,000 people nationwide.
26. Merced, CA
> Unemployment rate, June 2020: 15.9%
> Year-to-date employment change: -10.1%
> Cumulative COVID-19 cases to date: 3,251 (1,208 per 100,000 people)
> Poverty rate: 22.0%
> Population: 274,765
With an unemployment rate of 15.9%, the Merced, California, metro area has one of the worst job markets in the United States. Though the city has shed more than 10,000 jobs since January, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment has been higher than average in the city long before the novel coronavirus hit the U.S. At the beginning of the year, 7.8% of the local labor force was unemployed, more than double the 3.6% national jobless rate at the time.
The widespread unemployment in Merced is causing further economic harm to residents of a metro area that was already characterized with high poverty. In Merced, 22.0% of the population lives below the poverty line, compared to 13.1% of Americans nationwide.
25. Stockton-Lodi, CA
> Unemployment rate, June 2020: 15.9%
> Year-to-date employment change: -11.0%
> Cumulative COVID-19 cases to date: 10,637 (1,453 per 100,000 people)
> Poverty rate: 14.2%
> Population: 752,660
In the Stockton-Lodi metro areas, industries at high-risk of slowdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as transportation and warehousing and tourism, account for a far higher than typical share of total employment. Partially as a result, about 34,000 jobs in the metro area — or more than one in every 10 — have disappeared so far this year. The unemployment rate in the Stockton-Lodi metro area now stands at 15.9%, up from 5.7% in January.
24. Michigan City-La Porte, IN
> Unemployment rate, June 2020: 16.1%
> Year-to-date employment change: -7.3%
> Cumulative COVID-19 cases to date: 760 (687 per 100,000 people)
> Poverty rate: 16.4%
> Population: 110,007
Michigan City-La Porte is one of two Indiana metropolitan areas to rank on this list. It is one of only 24 U.S. metro areas where over 16% of the labor force is unemployed. As recently as January, before the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects were felt in the United States, unemployment in the northern Indiana metro area stood at 4.0%. Currently, there are about 3,400 fewer jobs in the metro area than there were at the beginning of the year.
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