After HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 is the deadliest pandemic the world has faced in over a century. And in the United States, the virus has ushered in an economic crisis of a scale not seen since the Great Depression.
Efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus have grounded large segments of the U.S. economy to a halt and sent the unemployment rate soaring to a post WWII high of 14.7% in April 2020. Though the U.S. unemployment rate has improved substantially in the months since, falling to 7.9% in September, in some parts of the country the recovery has been far more modest. In dozens of major metropolitan areas, the unemployment rate remains in the double digits.
Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24/7 Wall St. identified the American cities with double-digit unemployment. The metro areas on this list are ranked by their September 2020 unemployment rate, and in the case of a tie, the metro area where overall employment fell the most in the last year is ranked higher.
In the past 12 months, no industry has shed more jobs in the United States than leisure and hospitality. As COVID-19 effectively ended nonessential travel for months, the number of Americans working in leisure and hospitality cratered by more than 21% from September 2019 to September 2020. Not surprisingly, many of the cities where unemployment remains high, such as Honolulu and Las Vegas, are cities that depend the most on tourism. Here is a full list of the industries being devastated by the coronavirus.
Many of the metro areas with double-digit unemployment are also home to large populations living below the poverty line. In these areas, the rapid evaporation of jobs has added further financial strain on households that were already struggling. Here is a look at America’s poorest cities.