Early Economic Effects of COVID-19 Concentrated in Large Metros

Big cities suffered the worst economic effects if the pandemic as of March, according to April data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

May 6, 2020, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Grocery Store

eldar nurkovic / Shutterstock

"New data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offer the first comprehensive evidence of how responses to COVID-19’s spread began to affect metropolitan economies through mid-March," according to an article by Alan Berube. 

"On April 3, that report indicated that the U.S. economy shed 701,000 jobs between mid-February and mid-March, and that the unemployment rate increased from 3.5% to 4.4%," according to Berube.

According to Berube, the primary takeaway from the new BLS data is of an unequal distribution of  economic effects early in the pandemic. Job losses were concentrated in very large metropolitan areas—both in early hot spots of the disease (e.g., New York and Detroit) and in places under early, strict shot down requirements (e.g., San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego).  

Earlier reporting on job losses at the local level noted that neighborhoods concentrating certain kinds of jobs (e.g., tourism and transportation) are experiencing the worst economic effects at the local level.


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