Published on: August 04, 2020
BY TED C. JONES, PH.D.
The last time normal was observed in economic terms this year was February 2020, prior to the onslaught of Coronavirus. All markets -- Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and Divisions -- lost jobs following the surge of virus across the country, and most have recovered some of the lost jobs according to data from the U.S. Burau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Analysis of seasonally adjusted employment data from the BLS through June 2020 shows that three out of the 437 MSAs and Divisions not only recovered all of the jobs lost, but added some additional ones, while two have yet to bring back any of the jobs lost since February.
The first table shows the 50 MSAs and Divisions that have the greatest percentage of jobs lost after February 2020. Atlantic City-Hammonton, New Jersey lost one of every three jobs in the downturn (33.5 percent), had recovered 13 percent of those by the end of June, but still needs to recover 87 percent of the jobs lost to be back to the same employment level seen in February. The U.S. lost 14.5 percent of all jobs in the trough and has since recovered one-third of the jobs lost (33.8 percent).
The next table shows the 50 MSAs and Division with the smallest percentage of jobs lost from March through June. The least percentage of jobs lost post-pandemic was in Staunton-Waynesboro, Virginia, dipping just 3.8 percent (just one-in-ever-26 jobs) followed by Sherman-Denison, Texas at 4.5 percent. None of the 50-best performers had more than 750,000 total jobs with nine-of-the-top-10 having less than 75,000 total jobs.
The following table shows the 50 MSAs and Divisions that have recovered the greatest percentage of jobs from the trough post-virus. The three MSAs now with more jobs than in February of this year included Idaho Falls, Idaho (with 10.0 percent more jobs as of the end of June than the end of February), Sebring, Florida (up 6.3 percent) and Bloomington, Indiana (1.3 percent more jobs). These were all smaller metros topping out at less than 400,000 total jobs.
Metros with the fewest jobs recovered are in the last table. Two metros have not recovered any net jobs since the trough: Farmington, New Mexico and Madera, California. While there are both large and small cities in this list, all of the large cities (more than 1 million jobs) are on the East Coast.
Click here for a list of all 437 MSAs and divisions with associated statistics.
Until a vaccine or therapeutic becomes available, the economy will not return to the levels seen in February – and even then it may take years.