May 28: Weekly U.S. Unemployment Update Amid COVID-19

Posted by Sam Lowder on May 28, 2020 3:06:38 PM

Unemployment by Market Size 5.9.20 to 5.16.20

States have been opening up in the last couple of weeks, which means some people are able to return to work. But are there jobs still there for them, or have them been eliminated entirely? The unemployment numbers this week (and in the weeks to come) might tell part of the story.

Let’s look at what happened with unemployment between the weeks ended 5/9/20 and 5/16/20:

Metropolitan Areas with the Highest Unemployment:

This is the list of the week’s metro areas with the highest unemployment rate:

#20: Hammond, Louisiana | 37.54% (#19 last week at 42.96%)

#19: Longview, Washington | 38.93% (new to the top 20 this week)

#18: Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, Kentucky | 38.97% (#17 last week at 44.15%)

#17: Hinesville, Georgia | 39.99% (#18 last week at 44.11%)

#16: Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky | 40.56% (#13 last week at 46.05%)

#15: Owensboro, Kentucky | 40.99% (#12 last week at 46.5%)

#14: Albany, Georgia | 41.02% (#16 last week at 45.13%)

#13: Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia | 41.38% (#15 last week at 45.66%)

#12: Columbus, Georgia-Alabama | 41.5% (#14 last week at 45.76%)

#11: Bowling Green, Kentucky | 42.25% (#7 last week at 47.75%)

#10: Savannah, Georgia | 42.62% (#11 last week at 47.06%)

#9: Brunswick, Georgia | 42.95% (#9 last week at 47.45%)

#8: Macon-Bibb County, Georgia | 43.03% (#10 last week at 47.35%)

#7: Warner Robins, Georgia | 43.11% (#8 last week at 47.55%)

#6: Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina (Maui), Hawaii | 44.01% (#4 last week at 50.36%)

#5: Rome, Georgia | 44.11% (#6 last week at 48.7%)

#4: Gainesville, Georgia | 45.32% (#5 last week at 50.13%)

#3: Valdosta, Georgia | 45.81% (#3 last week at 50.4%)

#2: Athens-Clarke County, Georgia | 47.0% (#2 last week at 51.84%)

#1: Dalton, Georgia | 48.50% (#1 last week at 53.51%)

A few notes:

  • Things appear to be improving | While all metro areas in the top 20 exceed 37% unemployment (a big number), this is better than last week’s >42% unemployment
  • Georgia still holds the top spots | Like last week, there are many metro areas in Georgia in the top 20. This week, 9 of the top 10 metro areas are in Georgia.
  • Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina (Maui), Hawaii, sees slight improvement | Maui’s primary metro area held the top spot for several weeks, but is now at #6. The area also saw a drop from 50.36% to 44.01% over the week.
  • One new metro area to the top 20 | Longview, Washington, joined the top 20 this week. Interestingly, their unemployment dropped from 41.6% in the week prior, but last week’s top 20 started at 42%, so they did not make the list.

Biggest Metropolitan Movers:

  • Some great news this week—every metropolitan area we track saw decreases in unemployment this week! Therefore, the biggest movers were all in the other direction. Norwich-New London went from 42.79% to 22.72% this week. Just behind them were several other metro areas in Connecticut, which saw decreases of 46%.

Micropolitan Areas with the Highest Unemployment:

This is the list of the week’s micropolitan areas with the highest unemployment rate:

#20: Glasgow, Kentucky | 40.9% (#16 last week at 46.2%)

#19 (tied): Middlesborough, Kentucky; Danville, Kentucky | 41.0% (Danville #14 last week at 46.5%, Middlesborough #15 last week at 46.3%)

#18: Somerset, Kentucky | 41.2% (#13 last week at 46.6%)

#17: London, Kentucky | 41.5% (#11 last week at 47.0%)

#16: Richmond-Berea, Kentucky; Calhoun, Georgia | 41.7% (#10 last week at 47.2%)

#15: (tied): Toccoa, Georgia; Mount Sterling, Kentucky | 41.8% (Toccoa #16 last week at 41.8%, Mount Sterling #9 last week at 47.3%)

#14 (tied): Dublin, Georgia; Summerville, Georgia | (Dublin #17 last week at 45.9%, Summerville #16 last week at 46.2%)

#13: Tifton, Georgia | 42.0% (#15 last week at 46.3%)

#12: Milledgeville, Georgia | 42.1% (#16 last week at 46.2%)

#11: St. Marys, Georgia | 42.5% (#12 last week at 46.9%)

#10: Thomaston, Georgia | 42.6% (#11 last week at 47.0%)

#9: Calhoun, Georgia | 42.7% (#10 last week at 47.2%)

#8: Cornelia, Georgia | 43.2% (#8 last week at 47.6%)

#7 (tied): Douglas, Georgia; Thomasville, Georgia | 43.3% (Douglas #7 last week at 47.7%, Thomasville #8 last week at 47.6%)

#6: Murray, Kentucky | 43.4% (#5 last week at 49.3%)

#5: LaGrange, Georgia | 44.5% (#6 last week at 49.1%)

#4: Cedartown, Georgia | 46.0% (#4 last week at 50.6%)

#3: Statesboro, Georgia | 46.4% (#3 last week at 50.7%)

#2: Kapaa (Kauai), Hawaii | 47.1% (#1 last week at 54.3%)

#1: Cordele, Georgia | 47.6% (#2 last week at 52.4%)

A few notes:

  • No new micro areas to the top 20 | Every micropolitan area on the list was also on last week’s top 20 list.
  • Several micropolitan areas exceed 40% | This is an improvement from last week, when all the micropolitan areas in the top 20 were 44% or higher.

Biggest Micropolitan Movers:

  • Like the top metropolitan areas, all of the micropolitan areas saw decreases in unemployment from the prior week. Torrington, Connecticut, went from 41.5% to 22.1% this week, a 47% decrease.
  • Many other micro areas rose 15% over the week, and all of them are in Oklahoma.

Here’s the good news: things seem to be improving in many places when it comes to unemployment figures.

Knowing the employment picture is useful for you as you expand and evaluate your store base. The more you know about where your potential workforce, the better you can plan ahead. Contact SiteSeer if we can help. We offer a full suite of site selection, market planning, mapping and other tools that can help you make intelligent, data-driven decisions about where to expand and locate your next store or site. Request a demo today.

Thanks to our data partner, Applied Geographic Solutions, we’re offering free unemployment data as a layer in SiteSeer. We’ll be updating the top metropolitan and micropolitan areas in the country every week here on the SiteSeer blog. Want to learn more? Contact us!

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Topics: Market Data, Data Partner, Retail Industry, Coronavirus, Site Selection Analysis