If You Live in These 15 Areas, You Will Be Hit Hardest By COVID-19 Layoffs, Experts Say

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April 15, 2024 at 3:12PM UTC
As the impending economic crisis becomes more clear, researchers across the country are rushing to understand which industries, locales and other demographics will be hit hardest in order to inform policy. Some such research has been published by Brookings Institution, which nailed down the metropolitan areas at highest risk of job loss due to COVID-19.
According to their recently published brief, Brookings determined their list using Moody's "most at risk" industry groups list (which I wrote about here). They mapped the importance of these industries across America's metropolitan areas to determine which geographic locations are at highest risk of losing a large percentage of jobs in their local economy. 
Brookings says more than 24.2 million Americans work in high-risk industries but the "most affected places are a who’s who of energy towns and major resort, leisure and amusement destinations across the nation." 
Here are those at-risk areas and how many jobs are expected to be lost there: 

1. Midland, TX

Brookings suggests that 42% of jobs in Midland are in high risk industries, putting almost 20,000 jobs in the small area at risk. 

2. Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI

40% of jobs in this vacation hot spot are in the most at-risk industries, making almost 13,000 jobs in these Hawaii towns high risk. 

3. Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ

15,000 jobs in the Atlantic City-Hammonton area are high risk — about 34.2% of jobs in the area. 

4. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV

The Las Vegas area is home to 342,050 high risk jobs, meaning up to 33.8% of the area's economy may be negatively affected by COVID. 

5. Odessa, TX

COVID puts 33.3% of the Odessa economy at high risk, placing about 9,000 jobs in the category. 

6. Laredo, TX

29.7% of the Laredo economy is in high risk industries, labeling up to 9,000 jobs as high risk. 

7. Ocean City, NJ

About 4,000 jobs in the Ocean City metropolitan area are high risk — about 29.7% of the local economy. 

8. Houma-Thiboudaux, LA

The Houma-Thiboudaux area is home to over 7,000 high risk jobs, making 29.3% of the local economy high risk. 

9. Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC

The vacation triangle of Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach houses 14,000 high risk jobs — about 29.2% of the local economy.

10. Flagstaff, AZ

4,675 jobs in the Flagstaff area are at risk due to COVID, placing 27.5% of the local economy in the high-risk category. 
Brookings reported five other metropolitan areas that have large percentages of at-risk jobs: Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL; Brunswick, GA; Savannah, GA; East Stroudsburg, PA; Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS. 
Potentially the least affected? While only time will tell, Brookings say these five metropolitan areas have the smallest percentage of at-risk jobs: El Centro, CA; Jefferson City, MO; Elkart-Goshen, IN; Yakima, WA; Madera, CA. 

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