When the COVID-19 outbreak began and governments started imposing economic lockdowns, most parts of the country experienced huge upticks in unemployment. But how have different cities fared in the year since? A new report from WalletHub offers some insight.
The financial analytics firm looked at cities’ most recent unemployment rates, from May 2021, and compared them to their pre- and mid-pandemic unemployment rates from May 2019, May 2020, and January 2020. Using the national unemployment rate of 5.9 percent as a standard, this gives us a useful comparison showing how different cities have recovered from the pandemic and ensuing economic damage.
Here are the top 10 cities with the best post-pandemic unemployment rates as of May 2021:
- Manchester, New Hampshire: 1.6 percent
- Nashua, New Hampshire: 1.7 percent
- Burlington, Vermont: 1.3 percent
- South Burlington, Vermont: 1.2 percent
- Lincoln, Nebraska: 2.2 percent
- Huntsville, Alabama: 2.4 percent
- Omaha, Nebraska: 2.8 percent
- Salt Lake City, Utah: 2.7 percent
- Sioux Falls, South Dakota: 2.7 percent
- Billings, Montana: 3 percent
And, in stark contrast, here are the 10 cities with the worst post-pandemic unemployment rates as of May 2021:
- Hialeah, Florida: 8 percent
- New Orleans, Louisiana: 11 percent
- Long Beach, California: 10.6 percent
- Glendale, California: 10.4 percent
- Newark, New Jersey: 11.6 percent
- New York City, New York: 9.8 percent
- Los Angeles, California: 10.1 percent
- San Bernardino, California: 9.6 percent
- Chicago, Illinois: 9.3 percent
- North Las Vegas, Nevada: 9.9 percent
What explains the wide discrepancy between the cities who have essentially entirely recovered and those that remain deep in the red? Well, there are undoubtedly many factors influencing these cities’ unemployment rates, but two glaring ones stand out.
First, not all parts of the country locked down their economies with equal vigor or duration. From New Hampshire to Vermont to South Dakota, many of the states with cities represented in the top 10 strong recovery spots had relatively lighter government restrictions and rolled them back sooner. On the other hand, cities from intense lockdown states like California, New York, and New Jersey are heavily represented on the list—and that’s surely no coincidence.
Economies are complex systems, and cannot simply be switched on and off like a light switch. Those cities whose governments strangled economic activity over an extended period of time and hoped it would all come back when they decided to “open up” are clearly still experiencing the economic pain.
Secondly, the availability of ultra-generous unemployment benefits that pay many unemployed people more to stay home on welfare surely has had some influence on these rankings. States like New Hampshire with cities ranking highly have announced that they would end these benefits early, whereas states like California, Illinois, and New York have left them in place. The clear work disincentive presented by an unemployment system where households can earn the equivalent of $25/hour in many states has surely led to prolonged and heightened unemployment in the states which continue to embrace it.
Of course, there are many complex causes of city-level variations in unemployment rates and the economic recovery. But time and time again across these statistics and, frankly, the entire global economy, we see that areas with freer markets and less interference prosper more than those stifled by government control.
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Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Policy Correspondent at the Foundation for Economic Education.
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New Conservative Network Seeks Crowdfunding Help
They say we have to go big or go home. We’re trying to go big and bring the patriotic truth the the nation, but we need help.
Readers may or may not realize that over the past year, we’ve been bringing more conservative news and opinion outlets under our wing. Don’t take our expansion as a sign of riches; all of the “acquisitions” have been through sweat and promises of greater things to come for all involved. As a result, we’ve been able to bring together several independent media sites under a unified vision of preventing America from succumbing to the progressive, “woke,” Neo-Marxist ideologies that are spreading like wildfire across America.
The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $3000-$7000 per month. In other words, we’re in the red and hemorrhaging.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring the truth to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going.
Thank you and God Bless,
We Often Feel Like David Taking on Giants
Today’s Goliath is the Mainstream Media Industrial Complex that brainwashes the masses.
Our mission is very straightforward: To counter the false narratives and nefarious agendas destroying America today. It isn’t easy for obvious reasons; despite incredible growth over the last year we are still a very tiny fish in a huge media pond. But we’re fighting and we will continue to do so, Lord willing, for as long as we possibly can. The battle for America’s present and future is too important for us to back down to the giants that stand in our way.
We need help. I don’t want to say “desperately,” but the need is definitely great. If you have the means, please donate through our GivingFuel page, PayPal, or our brand new GiveSendGo page. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!