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Cities with highest unemployment rates

Audrey Conklin

The U.S. workforce shed 20.5 million jobs in April, reaching a record 14.7 percent unemployment rate, the highest level since the Great Depression, as the coronavirus pandemic triggered an unprecedented economic standstill.

More than a decade of job gains were erased in a single month by the Great Recession; the stunning job losses are more than double what the U.S. experienced during the 2008 financial crisis.

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Cities with the highest unemployment rates, according to March data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, are:

  • Cleveland: 7.3 percent unemployment
  • Las Vegas: 6.7 percent unemployment
  • Pittsburgh: 6.2 percent unemployment
  • Los Angeles: 5.7 percent unemployment
  • New Orleans: 5.6 percent unemployment
  • Seattle: 5.4 percent unemployment
  • Buffalo, N.Y.: 5.2 percent unemployment
  • San Bernardino, Calif.; Philadelphia and Houston: 5.1 percent unemployment
  • Providence, R.I., and Detroit: 4.9 percent unemployment
  • Chicago: 4.8 percent unemployment

Unemployment rates for large metropolitan areas are set to be released in June.

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Cities with the highest unemployment growth rate from January 2020 to March 2020, according to an April 29 report from finance website WalletHub, are:

  • Seattle: 105.92 percent unemployment growth
  • Hialeah, Fla.: 145.91 percent unemployment growth
  • Miami: 137.25 percent unemployment growth
  • Henderson, Nev.: 71.90 percent unemployment growth
  • North Vegas: 71.87 percent unemployment growth
  • Las Vegas: 69.82 percent unemployment growth
  • Aurora, Colo.: 68.51 percent unemployment growth
  • Denver: 67.54 percent unemployment growth
  • Colorado Springs, Colo.: 67.35 percent unemployment growth
  • Cleveland: 54.23 percent unemployment growth

The paralyzed U.S. economy, and the tidal wave of layoffs, pushed the unemployment rate, which was at a half-century low of 3.5 percent in February — to the highest level since record-keeping began in 1948.

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The previous record was 10.8 percent in late 1982. The number of job losses is also the biggest on record dating back to 1939. Previously, the largest one-month job loss number was 1.96 million in September 1945, at the end of World War II.

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Large companies and small businesses have cut workforces as the pandemic has forced nonessential businesses to remain closed, causing people to avoid travel and spend less money. The retail, food and travel industries have been hit especially hard.

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FOX Business' Megan Henney contributed to this report.

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