Special Report

Cities With the Worst COVID-19 Unemployment Crisis Right Now

Source: Wikimedia Commons

15. Yuba City, CA
> Sept. 2020 unemployment rate: 12.0%
> 1 yr. employment change: -13.4%
> Largest industry: Government (26.5% of local jobs)
> Population: 175,639

Yuba City is one of several California metro areas with a near nation-leading unemployment rate. Due in large part to the COVID-19 recession, there are 6,400 fewer people working in the area now than there were the same time last year, and the local unemployment rate is 12.0% — well above the 7.9% U.S. jobless rate.

The industries that have shed the largest share of their workers in the metro area in the past year are information, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing.

Source: David Crockett Photo / Getty Images

14. Hanford-Corcoran, CA
> Sept. 2020 unemployment rate: 12.2%
> 1 yr. employment change: -7.5%
> Largest industry: Government (36.3% of local jobs)
> Population: 152,940

The onset of the COVID-19 recession doubled the unemployment rate in California’s Hanford-Corcoran metro area. In February, the jobless rate was 7.7%. By April, 16.6% of the local labor force was out of work.

The current unemployment rate in the metro area of 12.2% is a considerable improvement from six months ago, but it appears to be moving in the wrong direction, as the August rate was nearly a percentage point lower. Nationwide, unemployment has fallen every month since April.

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

13. Stockton-Lodi, CA
> Sept. 2020 unemployment rate: 12.3%
> 1 yr. employment change: -8.1%
> Largest industry: Trade, transportation, and utilities (28.5% of local jobs)
> Population: 762,148

Between September 2019 and September 2020, the Stockton-Lodi metro area shed about 20,200 jobs. The bulk of those job losses are due to the COVID-19 recession. In February 2020, Stockton-Lodi’s unemployment rate was 5.7%. By April, it soared to 17.7%.

As is the case nationwide, the sector hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic in Stockton-Lodi was also leisure and hospitality. Over the past year, overall employment fell by 26.1% in the sector — equivalent to nearly 6,000 jobs.

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

12. Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX
> Sept. 2020 unemployment rate: 12.7%
> 1 yr. employment change: -8.2%
> Largest industry: Trade, transportation, and utilities (19.5% of local jobs)
> Population: 392,563

Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas, is one of only 16 U.S. metro areas with a September unemployment rate above 12%. Due to steep employment declines in the leisure and hospitality, mining and construction, and professional services sectors, there are about 13,600 fewer people working in the metro area now than there were a year ago.

Though nearly every industry in the metro area shed jobs over the past year, trade, transportation, and utilities — the largest industry in the metro area — actually grew modestly, adding about 100 jobs.

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

11. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX
> Sept. 2020 unemployment rate: 13.0%
> 1 yr. employment change: -5.4%
> Largest industry: Education and health services (29.8% of local jobs)
> Population: 868,707

The McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, metro area shed a total of 14,500 jobs in the past year, equal to over 5% of its total labor force. Due in large part to job losses in manufacturing, mining and construction and leisure and hospitality, the metro area’s September unemployment rate was 13.0%, well above the 7.9% U.S. rate.

The area is already struggling with high poverty, and the job losses are putting even more residents at risk of serious financial hardship. An estimated 27.3% of McAllen metro area residents live below the poverty line, the highest poverty rate of any metro area in the country and more than double the 12.3% national poverty rate.