RALEIGH — Is the Triangle’s employment market already bouncing back from COVID-19? Short answer: Yes, according to a new report from financial news site WalletHub.
Out of 180 of the largest U.S. cities, both Durham and Raleigh ranked in the top 20 cities whose unemployment rates are recovering the quickest, placing No.13 and No.20 respectively.
Meanwhile, Lexington-Fayette and Louisville, both in Kentucky, took out the top two spots, followed by Brownsville, Texas.
“It will likely take a long time for the unemployment rate to return to the historic low it experienced prior to the coronavirus crisis,” WalletHub’s financial writer Adam McCann said in the report. “Some cities’ jobs have weathered the storm better than others, though.”
In order to determine the cities where unemployment is most impacted by COVID-19, WalletHub compared 180 cities — including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least one of the most populated cities in each state — across two categories.
In the first category, it compared the change in unemployment for the latest month (June 2020) to both June 2019 and January 2020, in order to show the impact since last year and since the beginning of this year. In the second category, it looked at each city’s overall unemployment rate. It then used the average of those categories to rank-order the cities.
Durham recorded a 93.6 percent change in unemployment comparing June 2019 to June 2020, with an adjusted unemployment rate of 8.63 percent.
Raleigh, meanwhile, notched a 101.13 percent change over the same period with an adjusted unemployment rate of 9.19 percent.
The national unemployment rate has fallen to 11.1 percent, which is 25 percent below the peak of 14.7 percent during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This report uses new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which recently disclosed that it erroneously didn’t count many workers on temporary layoffs as unemployed. Therefore, the report includes both the official rate and an “adjusted” rate based on this error.