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Cities Whose October Unemployment Rates Are Bouncing Back Most – WalletHub Study

The employment market continued to recover in October, as the latest jobs report shows that the national unemployment rate has fallen to 6.9%, which is 53% below the peak of 14.7% during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. To provide more context at the city level, WalletHub today released its report on the Cities Whose October Unemployment Rates Are Bouncing Back Most, as a follow-up to our report on the States Whose Weekly Unemployment Claims Are Recovering the Quickest, along with accompanying videos and audio files.

This report uses new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which disclosed that it erroneously didn’t count some workers on temporary layoffs as unemployed. Therefore, the real unemployment rate may be around 4% higher than reported, and our report includes both the official rate and an “adjusted” rate based on this error.

Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A.

Most Recovered Cities
1. Lincoln, NE 11. Billings, MT
2. South Burlington, VT 12. Cheyenne, WY
3. Sioux Falls, SD 13. Missoula, MT
4. Omaha, NE 14. Cedar Rapids, IA
5. Burlington, VT 15. Fargo, ND
6. Rapid City, SD 16. Anchorage, AK
7. Springfield, MO 17. Kansas City, MO
8. Bismarck, ND 18. Madison, WI
9. Juneau, AK 19. Seattle, WA
10. Des Moines, IA 20. Columbia, SC

To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit: https://wallethub.com/edu/cities-unemployment-rates/73647/

WalletHub Q&A

What spending tips would you give to people who are unemployed during the holidays?

“People who are unemployed during the holidays should focus on making essential purchases, and should shop around for the best seasonal deals to save as much money as possible,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “It’s important for unemployed people to not overspend on presents, as there’s so much pressure to buy during the holidays. Some alternative ways to show you care include giving handmade gifts, spending time with people while doing their favorite activities, and volunteering to help out with chores or maintenance to give them a rest. These gestures can be even more meaningful than buying expensive gifts.”

How would a reauthorization of the Paycheck Protection Program impact unemployment?

“A reauthorization of the Paycheck Protection Program would help guard against an increase in unemployment because it would incentivize businesses to keep employees on the payroll or rehire those who were previously laid off. The first PPP was effective, as it saved over 51 million jobs, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “If there is a second round of PPP loans, we should be stricter about who receives aid. Large corporations ended up taking a lot of the money that was meant for small businesses, and some companies with no financial issues got loans while others with legitimate troubles were denied.”

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,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “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 Los Angeles’ unemployment rate been affected?

“Los Angeles has experienced a 162% increase in unemployment from January 2020 to October,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “This is worse than the average increase of 95%. Los Angeles’ overall unemployment rate is 12.0%, compared to the average of 6.9%.”