May 21: Weekly U.S. Unemployment Update Amid COVID-19

Posted by Sam Lowder on May 21, 2020 9:20:34 AM

Unemployment by Market Size_5-18-2020

Unemployment by % Increase_5-18-2020

Another week of life during the COVID-19 outbreak, and unemployment continues to rise. Here’s a look at what happened between the weeks ended 5/2/20 and 5/9/20:

Metropolitan Areas with the Highest Unemployment:

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

#20: Norwich-New London, Connecticut | 42.79% (new to the top 20 this week)

#19: Hammond, Louisiana | 42.96% (#15 last week)

#18: Hinesville, Georgia | 44.11% (new to the top 20 this week)

#17: Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, Kentucky | 44.15% (#16 last week)

#16: Albany, Georgia | 45.13% (#19 last week)

#15: Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia | 45.66% (#18 last week)

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

#13: Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky | 46.05% (#9 last week)

#12: Owensboro, Kentucky | 46.5% (#8 last week)

#11: Savannah, Georgia | 47.06% (#13 last week)

#10: Macon-Bibb County, Georgia | 47.35% (#11 last week)

#9: Brunswick, Georgia | 47.45% (#12 last week)

#8: Warner Robins, Georgia | 47.55% (#10 last week)

#7: Bowling Green, Kentucky | 47.75% (#6 last week)

#6: Rome, Georgia | 48.70% (#14 last week)

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

#4: Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina (Maui), Hawaii | 50.36% (#1 last week)

#3: Valdosta, Georgia | 50.4% (#4 last week)

#2: Athens-Clarke County, Georgia | 51.84% (#3 last week)

#1: Dalton, Georgia | 53.51% (#2 last week)

A few notes:

  • All metro areas in the top 20 exceed 42% unemployment | Unemployment is still rising and the numbers are staggering. Even cities in South Dakota and Utah, which have fared better than most, are creeping upward (and are above 12%)
  • Georgia makes the top three | Like last week, there are many metro areas in Georgia in the top 20. This week, it’s 13 of the top 20 metropolitan areas, with the top three metro areas in Georgia.
  • Georgia metro areas surpass Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina (Maui), Hawaii | Maui’s primary metro area held the top spot for several weeks, but has now been surpassed by three metro areas that had 14% jumps this week. Dalton, Georgia, went from #2 of the top 20 last week to #1 this week—a 53.51% unemployment rate.
  • The top 5 is still the top 5 | The top five last week is the same top five this week, but shuffled around.
  • Michigan no longer top 20 | In the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen many metro areas in Michigan in the top 20. This week, there are no metro areas from Michigan in the top 20. In other words, there are many other metropolitan areas in the U.S. struggling just as much.

Biggest Metropolitan Movers:

  • Four metro areas in Connecticut saw astonishing jumps from last week to this week (between 81 and 84%), which could mean a catchup in claims processing or something else. Norwich-New London went from 23.29% last week to 42.79% this week—the #20 spot.
  • There are several Georgia metro areas that increased 12-14% over the week.
  • The top 20 movers for the week include metro areas from Georgia, Oklahoma, and Georgia.

Micropolitan Areas with the Highest Unemployment:

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

#20: Bardstown, Kentucky | 44.2% (new to the top 20 this week)

#19: Waycross, Georgia | 44.6% (new to the top 20 this week)

#18: Americus, Georgia | 44.8% (new to the top 20 this week)

#17: Dublin, Georgia | 45.9% (new to the top 20 this week)

#16 (tied): Toccoa, Georgia (new to the top 20 this week); Milledgeville, Georgia (new to the top 20 this week); Campbellsville, Kentucky (#13 last week); Summerville, Georgia (new to the top 20 this week); Glasgow, Kentucky (#12 last week) | 46.2%

#15 (tied): Tifton, Georgia (new to the top 20 this week); Middlesborough, Kentucky (#11 last week) | 46.3%

#14: Danville, Kentucky | 46.5% (#10 last week)

#13: Somerset, Kentucky | 46.6% (#9 last week)

#12: St. Marys, Georgia | 46.9% (#20 last week)

#11: London, Kentucky; Thomaston, Georgia | 47.0% (#8 last week)

#10: Richmond-Berea, Kentucky; Calhoun, Georgia | 47.2% (#7 last week)

#9: Mount Sterling, Kentucky | 47.3% (#6 last week)

#8 (tied): Cornelia, Georgia (#15 last week); Thomasville, Georgia (#14 last week) | 47.6%

#7: Douglas, Georgia | 47.7% (#15 last week)

#6: LaGrange, Georgia | 49.1% (#7 last week)

#5: Murray, Kentucky | 49.3% (#4 last week)

#4: Cedartown, Georgia | 50.6% (#5 last week)

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

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

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

A few notes:

  • Several micro areas exceed 50% | Hawaii’s Kapaa plus three other micro areas in Georgia passed 50% unemployment this week.
  • Hard-hit micropolitan areas surpass 44% unemployment | All the micropolitan areas in the top 20 are 44% or higher.

Biggest Micropolitan Movers:

  • This week, the micropolitan area with the biggest jump since last week was Torrington, Connecticut, which went from 22.7% to 41.5% unemployment, an 83% increase.
  • Many other micro areas rose 15% over the week, and all of them are in Oklahoma.

Unemployment figures offer useful information in many ways. The more you know about where your potential workforce is, the better you can plan ahead. As you think ahead to the rest of this year and what it might bring, contact SiteSeer. 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.

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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 during the coronavirus pandemic. Want to learn more? Contact us!

Topics: Market Data, Data Partner, Retail Industry, Coronavirus